Elsa batters Caribbean; Florida Keys under tropical storm watch


A tropical storm watch was issued for the Florida Keys from Craig Key westward to the Dry Tortugas on Saturday night as Tropical Storm Elsa headed toward the state. 

Elsa, which battered the southern coasts of Haiti and the Dominican Republic on Saturday, was downgraded from a Category 1 hurricane Saturday morning. The storm has left at least three people dead. 

One death was reported in St. Lucia, according to the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency. Meanwhile, a 15-year-old boy and a 75-year-old woman died Saturday in separate events in the Dominican Republic after walls collapsed on them, according to a statement from the Emergency Operations Center.

The storm had maximum sustained winds of 65 mph and was moving in a west-northwesterly direction at about 14 mph by early Sunday, according to the National Hurricane Center.

Hurricane Elsa approaches Argyle, St. Vincent, Friday, July 2, 2021. (Associated Press)

Hurricane Elsa approaches Argyle, St. Vincent, Friday, July 2, 2021. (Associated Press)

Elsa was expected to slow down and turn northwest by Sunday night or Monday when the Keys could start seeing storm conditions, the hurricane center and FOX 13 of Tampa reported. 

Elsa is then expected to move near or over parts of the Gulf coast of Florida by Tuesday, the hurricane center said. Some models show it heading into the Gulf or up the Atlantic Coast. Elsa’s ultimate trajectory remained uncertain.

An electrical pole felled by Hurricane Elsa leans on the edge of a residential balcony, in Cedars, St. Vincent, Friday, July 2, 2021. (Associated Press)

An electrical pole felled by Hurricane Elsa leans on the edge of a residential balcony, in Cedars, St. Vincent, Friday, July 2, 2021. (Associated Press)