Tropical Storm Elsa is currently heading north along the East Coast of the US, and is expected to impact all major cities along the way. More than 50 million Americans woke up to flash flood warnings as severe weather conditions have already begun to impact a majority of the coast.
The center of the storm is projected to go over Dover, Delaware early Friday morning and will make its way towards Boston by the afternoon, according to meteorologist Robert Shackelford. The storm has already caused tornados, multiple injuries, and at least one death in Florida and Georgia this week.
In New York, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) was pre-positioning crews and equipment yesterday all throughout Long Island, where the storm is forecast to be the most intense.
The MTA will also be banning all empty tractor-trailers and tandem trucks from its seven bridges and two tunnels until at least noon on Friday. This ban is due to heavy wind gusts and rain which could cause larger vehicles to be more susceptible to tipping over.
The National Hurricane Center announced that the storm is currently moving at a rate of 25 mph and has hit a maximum sustained wind speed of 50 mph. Much of the Northeast is expected to see 2 to 4 inches of rainfall by the weekend.
Once Elsa’s center passes by a given area, residents can still expect to see heavy rainfall and high wind speeds on the outskirts.
Some tornadoes were also reported across northern Florida and southeastern Georgia on Wednesday. An EF-2 tornado caused multiple injuries and damage at Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay in Kings Bay, Georgia.
“Thankfully, there was no loss of life here last night. This tornado that came through could have been a lot worse,” base commanding officer Capt. Chester Parks told local media outlets.
Parks said that a tornado impacted by the southside of the navy base ended up moving north, hitting the base of an RV park on the way. Twelve recreational vehicles were damaged and nine people were transported to the navy base for medical treatment.
Elsa initially hit Florida earlier this week, and caused the most damage in both the sunshine state and Georgia. The entire storm system touched down this Wednesday along the Gulf Coast in Taylor County, Florida.
“Winds starting howling in the middle of the night, and rain starting pounding the windows. Never seen anything like this before in my life,” said Johnathan Riches who was staying at a motel in Cedar Key, Florida when the storm hit.
Eric Mastrota is a Contributing Editor at The National Digest based in New York. A graduate of SUNY New Paltz, he reports on world news, culture, and lifestyle. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.