Hurricane Elsa is sparking new fear in Surfside, Florida on Friday, as the storm could hamper rescue operations in a partially collapsed condo building and even cause more collapses at the site.
On Friday morning, Elsa was promoted from a tropical storm to a Category 1 hurricane. The National Hurricane Center (NHC) warned that “interests in Florida should monitor Elsa’s progress and forecast updates,” according to an advisory posted on Twitter.
HERE ARE THE KEY MESSAGES AT 830 A.M. AST FOR HURRICANE SPECIFIC ADVICE #ELSA. HURRICANE STATUS IS FORECAST TO SPREAD TO PARTS OF THE SOUTHERN LEEWARD ISLANDS OVER THE NEXT FEW HOURS. NEXT FULL ADVISORY AT 11AM AST. MORE INFO: HTTPS://T.CO/TW4KEFW0GB PIC.TWITTER.COM/YDR80QKK0W
— NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER (@NHC_ATLANTIC) 2 JULY 2021
“The Florida Keys and parts of the Florida peninsula are at risk for storm surge, wind and rain effects early next week,” the NHC wrote.
Storm warnings were issued for Barbados, St. Vincent, the Grenadines and St. Lucia. Heavy rain was expected in the Windward and Leeward Islands on Friday and in Puerto Rico, Hispaniola and Jamaica over the weekend.
Weather.com reported that search and rescue teams had already been evacuated from the site of Champlain Towers South of Surfside, which partially collapsed on the morning of June 24.
TJ Leon, president of Florida’s statewide emergency response plan, told Weather.com on Wednesday that “any significant wind could potentially bring down the remainder of that building.”
“Any bad weather is going to have a significant impact on the site,” Lyon said.
As of Thursday, the death toll at Surfside had risen to 18, with 145 people still missing. Other obstacles have hindered rescue operations, as rescuers withdrew from rescuing a woman trapped in the building after a fire broke out under the rubble.
And now with a storm approaching, emergency management teams are preparing to evacuate the scene and find shelter until further notice.
“We will arrange for our first responders to be located in a safe location within a sensible time frame, so they can cease operations and their equipment,” Frank Rolson, director of Miami-Dade Emergency Management, told Weather.com on Wednesday. find it in a safe place.” afternoon.
“Once the storm clears and it is safe to return to work once again, they will do so. Those safe-harbor plans are being developed as I write this.”
Seven of the eight search and rescue teams are reportedly planning to return home in the coming days.
Lyon said, “We see these tropical activities as a significant challenge, and so we will probably take our state teams out of the pile during the weekend, give them a rest, rebuild their tool cache, and take them back home.” Going to work to bring them in so that we can get them reset for anything that comes our way.”