Officials in Cuba had evacuated 180,000 residents by Sunday to avoid heavy flooding. This was due to the storm that has already ravaged several Caribbean islands and killed at least three. Many evacuated people stayed with their relatives, while others sought refuge at government shelters. Hundreds of mountain dwellers sought refuge in prepared caves for emergency situations.
Elsa was expected to cross Cuba Monday night, then head to Florida where the Governor. Ron DeSantis declared an emergency in 15 counties. This includes Miami-Dade County where a condominium building was damaged in a collapse on June 24.
Late Sunday, Elsa was about 270 km (440 km) southeast of Havana. It was moving northwest at 15mph (24 Kph). According to the National Hurricane Center, Elsa's maximum sustained winds had increased slightly to 65 mph (100 km/h).
According to the center, the storm is likely to weaken as it passes over central Cuba. It stated that Elsa would be visible over the Florida Straits, the southeastern Gulf of Mexico and some minor strengthening was possible.
Throughout Sunday, rain fell in Cuba's eastern regions intermittently as the storm moved by to the south.
"It's been a gentle, tranquil rain so far. There have been no downpours. The streets aren't overflowing," Yolanda Tbio, a 73 year-old Santiago retiree, said to The Associated Press. It could have been worse, I thought.
Rafael Carmenate is a volunteer for Santa Cruz del Sur's Red Cross. He told the AP via telephone that he has a small water supply -- showers. The sea has not entered. It's cloudy, windy."
According to the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency, one person was killed in the storm on St. Lucia. According to the Emergency Operations Center, a 15-year old boy and a 75 year-old woman were killed in separate events that occurred in the Dominican Republic on Saturday after walls collapsed.
Elsa, which was a Category 1 hurricane up until Saturday morning caused widespread damage to several eastern Caribbean islands as Friday's first hurricane of the Atlantic Season. Barbados was the worst hit, with more than 1,100 residents reporting damage to their homes, including 62 houses that were destroyed.
Haiti is a country that is particularly vulnerable to flooding and landslides due to its extensive erosion and deforestation. The Civil Protection Agency in Haiti reported Sunday that three people were injured by fallen trees.
A tropical storm warning was issued for western Cuba, and the Florida Keys, from Craig Key westward to Dry Tortugas. The Cuban government issued a hurricane warning to Cienfuegos, Matanzas and other provinces.