“Strong gusts of wind, heavy rain and some tornadoes are possible throughout South Florida,” the local weather service said on Twitter.
After claiming two lives in the Dominican Republic and one in Saint Lucia, Elsa hit Cuba on Monday, with abundant rainfall but without causing significant damage, according to authorities.
In parts of Florida’s west coast, the NHC warned Tuesday that water could rise up to 1.5 meters due to winds of more than 110 km / h, a force close to hurricane category.
The Tampa airport announced the suspension of commercial flights from 5:00 p.m. local until at least 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday morning.
“We ask Floridians to make their preparations. That includes the possibility of being without electricity for a few days. Have enough food and water for each member of your family, including pets,” the Florida Lieutenant Governor urged at a press conference. , Jeanette Nuñez.
“If there are evacuation orders in your area, it is for your own safety, counties will open emergency shelter centers,” he added.
Elsa’s passage through Florida occurs less than two weeks after the tragedy of Surfside, a town about 20 km from downtown Miami where a 12-story block partially collapsed in the early morning of June 24 for causes that are still being investigated. The AFP agency said.
Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava told reporters that the death toll rose to 32 when four more bodies were found in the rubble.
Of the deceased, 26 were identified, including a Chilean, a Uruguayan, a Venezuelan and a Uruguayan-Venezuelan.
Levine Cava said 113 people were still listed as missing and that available authorities were able to confirm they were in the 12-story building at the time of the collapse. Among those affected were many Latin Americans from various countries.
Miami-Dade Fire Chief Alan Cominsky said Sunday night’s demolition of the part of the building that was still standing had allowed search teams to expand their operations.
Some 240 members of rescue crews from the United States and also from Israel and Mexico were working on the remains of the residential block, from which some 2,500 tons of debris were removed, according to authorities.
Work at the site was only interrupted by lightning overnight.
“We expect heavy gusts and showers today and we are closely monitoring the weather,” the mayor said, highlighting the “extremely adverse and challenging conditions” in which rescuers were working.
Surfside Mayor Charles Burkett said engineers were conducting a “complete structural overhaul” of other tall buildings in the city, including Champlain Towers North, a “sister” condo tower to which it collapsed.
Authorities have “deep concerns about that building” and some residents have moved, it says.