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Elsa Makes Landfall In Florida's Big Bend

Elsa made landfall as a tropical storm late Wednesday morning along Florida's Nature Coast in Taylor county with top sustained winds of 65 mph. Its winds are expected to weaken, but flash flooding and isolated tornadoes are possible Wednesday afternoon, especially in North-Central and Northeast Florida.

A feeder band far removed from the center of Elsa produced some of the state's heaviest rainfall totals in parts of Southwest Florida. Estimates from radar and gauges are showing between 6 and 10 inches of rain has fallen from eastern Manatee and Hardee counties southward into Desoto, Charlotte, and Lee counties.

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Credit FPREN

2 to 5 inches of rain has fallen in the Tampa/St. Pete metro areas east into Polk county, with localized amounts greater than a half foot in a small part of northwestern Hillsborough and southern Pasco counties. So far, rain amounts have been limited along most of the Atlantic coast, which has been farthest removed from the center of Elsa.

Tropical storm force gusts have been observed in Pinellas county northward to Cedar Key, between 45 and 60 mph at times Tuesday night and Wednesday morning. Strong gusts near the St. Johns River in Jacksonville and along the beachfront in Duval, Nassau, and St. Johns counties have been near 40 mph as of late Wednesday morning.

Isolated tornadoes remain possible near the I-10 corridor from the Live Oak and Lake City areas to near Jacksonville, but the threat is slowly expected to diminish late Wednesday afternoon. Areas of flash flooding, along with gusts of 30 to 40 mph, were still possible from Ocala and Gainesville eastward to the First Coast Wednesday afternoon.

Residual bands are possible anywhere over the Peninsula until about midnight Wednesday night before Elsa pulls away into the Carolinas. There are currently no other areas in the tropical Atlantic that are likely to develop into a tropical depression or tropical storm over the next week.

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