Gov. Ron DeSantis stated that forecasts for the cyclone were calling for it to arrive onshore between 8 and 9 a.m. The hurricane warning was in place for a large stretch of coastline, including Egmont Key at Tampa Bay's mouth to the Steinhatchee River.
The Republican governor said Tuesday to reporters in Tallahassee, "We ask you to please take it seriously." "This is not the time to have a good time, because there are dangerous conditions out there."
The Tampa Bay area is extremely vulnerable to storm surge and there were no immediate reports of any injuries or damage. The strongest winds are expected to stay offshore of the beaches west of St. Petersburg.
Elsa's maximum sustained winds were 70 mph (115 km/h) on Wednesday. Its core was located approximately 60 miles (95 km) southwest of Tampa. According to the National Hurricane Center, it was moving north at 14mph (22 kmh).
Forecasters predicted that Elsa would move across inland Florida as a tropical hurricane with strong rains, wind, and then continue on to Georgia, Carolinas, and Virginia before moving out into the Atlantic Ocean by Friday.
As Elsa approached Tuesday, schools and government offices in Tampa were closed. Most public events were also postponed. Jane Castor, the Tampa Mayor, said that hockey's Stanley Cup finals match between the Tampa Bay Lightning (pictured above) would take place as planned Wednesday night.
She said, "We are fairly confident."
According to the airport's website, Tampa International Airport had suspended operations Tuesday at 5 p.m. and plans to resume flights Wednesday at 10 a.m. after a storm damage assessment.
Duke Energy, Tampa Bay's main electric utility, stated in a statement that it had approximately 3,000 employees, contractors and tree specialists ready to respond to any power outages caused by the storm. Duke Energy was also bringing in additional crews from other states.
Todd Fountain, Florida storm director at the utility, stated that "we're prepared and trained" and that he wanted to make sure customers were prepared for any storm impacts.
Elsa passed the Florida Keys on Tuesday but did not take any direct damage to the low-lying islands. Despite this, heavy rains and strong winds were forecast for the Keys from Tuesday through Wednesday.
The search for survivors and victims of the June 24th collapsed condominium in Miami was also complicated by the storm. Crews persevered in their search for survivors and victims in the collapsed condominium in Miami-area on June 24.
A tropical storm warning was issued for Georgia along the Brunswick coast. The National Hurricane Center said that tropical storm conditions, with sustained winds up to 50 mph (80 km/h), are possible in southeast Georgia.
Alec Eaton, Director of Glynn County Emergency Management Agency, stated to the Brunswick News that "right now, we're basically seeing a cloudy. rainy. windy day." "I am confident that we can just sit back and let it go without major consequences. We hope so.
South Carolina emergency officials were monitoring Elsa from the north, but there were no evacuations during peak summer tourist season.
Although the storm was forecast to track inland on Monday, coastal forecasters said that the worst weather would be to the east. It could drop up to 5 in (13 cm) of rain, and bring wind gusts of up to 55 mph (88 km/h) to places like Hilton Head Island and Charleston.
Officials from Cuba evacuated 180,000 residents earlier to avoid heavy flooding due to a storm that had already struck several Caribbean islands and killed at least three.
Brian McNoldy, a Hurricane Researcher at the University of Miami, stated that Elsa is the fifth-earliest storm named in Fifth Name.