Tropical storm Elsa is slamming the Sunshine State with gusty winds and heavy rain as it barrels north near Florida’s west coast.
Elsa is expected to make landfall later Wednesday morning by Florida’s Big Bend.
Elsa strengthened to a Category 1 hurricane Tuesday night before weakening back to a tropical storm.
As Elsa inched closer, Tampa International Airport suspended all flights overnight while the University of Florida in Gainesville has canceled Wednesday classes.
A hurricane warning is in effect for Florida’s west coast from the Chassahowitzka River to the Steinhatchee River.
Wet grounds and rough winds have already caused some downed trees in Hillsborough County, which encompasses Tampa.
Tampa Bay is among areas under a storm surge warning.
Tropical storm warnings have been issued in Savannah and Charleston.
After blowing through the South, the storm is expected to move up the East Coast, bringing heavy rain and gusty winds to the mid-Atlantic, New Jersey shore, New York City, Long Island and New England.
By Thursday night Elsa will reach mid-Atlantic dropping flooding rain and gusty winds near Washington, D.C., and into Philadelphia.
By Friday morning, Elsa will be dropping heavy rain and rough winds along the Jersey shore, New York City and Long Island.
Elsa will move into New England late Friday morning into Friday afternoon. Boston and Portland, Maine, could face strong winds, power outages and flooding.
Flooding is possible in Philadelphia, New York City, Connecticut, Massachusetts and northern New England. Some areas could see up to 5 inches of rain.
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