TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Parts of the Tampa Bay area are expected to feel hurricane conditions Tuesday night as Tropical Storm Elsa moves up Florida’s Gulf Coast.
Here are live updates as Elsa impacts Tampa Bay (most recent updates appear first):
Regular operations at the Pasco County Emergency Operations Center have resumed, operating hours return to 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Pasco County Government continues to monitor conditions. Robert K. Rees Memorial Park and the Veterans Memorial Park Splash Bad remain closed due to localized flooding.
The Mike Fasano Regional Hurricane Shelter is now closed. Sandbags can be disposed of at Magnolia Valley Golf Course and the Pasco County Customer Service Center. Sandbag stations are expected to close on July 8, but Magnolia Valley and the Customer Service Center will still be open for disposal.
Clearwater announces the city offices, libraries, recreation centers and summer camp programs will reopen and return to normal operations on July 8.
Bayshore Boulevard has reopened, TPD says.
North Bayshore Boulevard will be closed between S Rome Avenue and W Swann Avenue due to high tide and high winds, says Tampa Police Department.
Pinellas County is no longer under a Hurricane Warning, according to Pinellas County officials.
Tampa police close Bayshore Boulevard between Rome and Swann due to high tide and wind conditions.
Sarasota County has returned to normal operations.
Sarasota Bradenton International Airport reopened at 6 a.m., no storm damage was reported, SRQ representatives say.
St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport also reopened and flights are leaving, according to a PIE spokesperson.
Gov. Ron DeSantis gave a briefing on storm preparations ahead of Tropical Storm Elsa’s landfall this Wednesday.
Tampa International Airport will resume operations earlier than expected, at 8:30 a.m. after temporarily halting all flights due to Tropical Storm Elsa.
The airport did not receive any damage from the storm. TPA’s roadways are clear, and the garages and rental car center are open.
PSTA transport service resumed at 8 a.m., for all routes and paratransit.
Tropical Storm Elsa is approaching the northern Florida Gulf Coast. The system is about 115 miles northwest of Tampa as of the 8 a.m. National Hurricane Center advisory. Elsa has 65 mph maximum sustained winds and is presenting moving north at 14 mph.
With very little impact from Tropical Storm Elsa, Pinellas County officials announced access to the barrier islands and county beaches will open at 6:30 a.m.
“Pinellas County was fortunate to have not experienced more severe weather as forecasted. No rescues were conducted overnight due to high water or flooding,” a statement from the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office read.
If a resident in Pinellas County experienced damage to their home or know of damage in public areas, it can be reported online at storm.pinellascounty.org.
8 On Your Side’s Megan Gannon is on the scene in Clearwater where a large tree branch has fallen on a residence.
Tropical Storm Elsa has slightly weakened as of the 5 a.m. National Hurricane Center advisory. The system is now 70 miles west-north-west of Tampa with 65 mph maximum sustained winds.
Elsa is moving north at 14 mph.
A tornado warning has been issued for Hardee County. The alert will be in effect until 4:15 a.m.
8 On Your Side’s Staci DaSilva spoke with Citrus County Sheriff Mike Prendergast, who is out at Pete’s Pier.
The sheriff said officials use the pier as a benchmark to see what the water’s doing when high tide is approaching. He believes the county is dodging a bullet in terms of the overall impacts from the storm surge the area is seeing.
A tornado warning has been issued for parts of Desoto, Manatee and Sarasota counties.
The severe weather alert is in effect until 2:30 a.m.
The National Hurricane Center announced Elsa has weakened back to a tropical storm. The system is still bringing heavy rains and gusty winds inland across southwest and west-central Florida.
Elsa is currently 60 miles west of Tampa and has maximum sustained winds of 70 miles per hour.
The storm is presently moving north at 14 miles per hour.
8 On Your Side’s Justin Schecker is monitoring high tide in Crystal River as Elsa moves north along the Tampa Bay coast.
High tide times are as follows for the below Tampa Bay locations:
- Sarasota: 1:49 a.m.
- Madeira Beach: 1:55 a.m.
- Manatee River: 2:03 a.m.
- Crystal River: 3:52 a.m.
A tornado warning has been issued for parts of Hernando, Pasco, and Sumter counties. The warning is in effect until 1:30 a.m.
Hurricane Elsa continues its approach toward Tampa Bay, now just 65 miles southwest. Wind speeds are reported at 75 miles per hour, and the winds are sustained, according to the advisory from the National Weather Service.
A tornado watch will remain in effect for Tampa Bay until 8 a.m., July 7.
The highest reported wind on land was recorded at 54 mph around 10:46 p.m. at Sarasota-Bradenton Airport, according to NWSTB.
A Pasco County man is riding out Hurricane Elsa at home with 15 animals after setting up storm shutters on his house in the afternoon.
The latest tally of residents without power in Tampa Bay has climbed to 2,296 according to online reports from Duke Energy, FPL and TECO.
Another Tracking the Tropics is on, bringing you the latest updates on hurricane Elsa. WFLA’s JB Biunno and Meteorologist Ian Oliver are joined by ABC27 Meteorologist Adis Juklo.
Tampa Mayor Jane Castor urged residents to stay home and safe inside, and the city is asking anyone seeing flooding to report it by calling 1-813-274-3278. Reports will show up on the site Tampa.Gov/FloodMap.
Meanwhile in Cedar Key, it’s calm before the storm, reports WFLA’s Jeff Patterson.
Ahead of Elsa, the Hillsborough County Sheriff urged residents to stay vigilant and use the right containers if you’re transporting gas during the storm, especially for generators.
South Tampa residents are bracing for flooding along Bayshore and other streets that often see rising water during heavy rain.
Meanwhile in Gulfport, a local bar is hosting a “hurricane party” to let the community weather the storm together.
Manatee County’s Beach Patrol Chief took a quick tour along Coquina Beach as Elsa arrived.
A look outside Beach Patrol Headquarters earlier this evening also shows some of the conditions outside.
Sarasota Police check areas around City Island as Elsa moves through.
Pinellas County officials urge residents to seek shelter as Elsa arrives, warning that first responders will not be able to reach them once winds rise to 40 miles per hour.
The Sarasota Police Department’s Emergency Response Team is heading out, ready to respond for water rescues during Elsa.
The number of Tampa Bay residents without power grows, now up to 1,004 according to online reports from Duke Energy, FPL, and TECO.
NHC says its next Tampa Bay update is expected at midnight EDT, but could come sooner if conditions warrant it.
Currently, there are 725 people without power in the Tampa Bay area, according to Duke Energy, FPL and TECO’s websites.
Manatee County Schools turned shelters for Hurricane Elsa.
High tide times, hurricane-force winds, rainfall and storm surge are factors that WFLA is tracking as Elsa moves north along the Gulf Coast. Parts of Tampa Bay are bracing for Elsa’s anticipated landfall.
Here are the high tide times in our area overnight (all times ET):
- Clearwater Beach: 12:03 a.m.
- New Port Richey: 12:45 a.m.
- Anna Maria (Pier): 1:17 a.m.
- Hernando Beach: 1:23 a.m.
- Venice: 1:25 a.m.
- Sarasota Bay: 1:49 a.m.
- Madeira Beach: 1:55 a.m.
- Manatee River (Bradenton): 2:03 a.m.
- St. Pete Pier: 3:27 a.m.
- Crystal River (Kings Bay): 3:52 a.m.
The National Hurricane Center says Tampa Bay could see three to five feet of storm surge if the peak of the surge happens at the same time as high tide.
The latest update on wind threat from the National Weather Service shows wind speeds potentially ranging from 58 to 110 mph. The wind threat chart is color coded by color band to display the threat by region:
Elsa continues to close on Tampa Bay, with wind and rain bringing potential damage from debris and potential flooding as the storm sweeps in.
As of 8:53 p.m., Coastal Citrus, Coastal Hernando, Coastal Hillsborough, Coastal Pasco, and Pinellas counties all have storm surge warnings and hurricane warnings in effect. Inland Citrus, Inland Hernando, Inland Hillsborough, Inland Manatee, Inland Pasco and Inland Sarasota counties also have Tropical Storm Warnings in effect.
Now that Elsa has regained hurricane status and been upgraded, 8 On Your Side is bringing you team coverage of the storm hitting Tampa Bay.
An earlier look at conditions in Manatee County as crews continue to work to avoid a Piney Point overflow as a result of the conditions coming with now-Hurricane Elsa.
8:00 Elsa Track:
Tropical Storm Elsa is upgraded to Hurricane Elsa by the National Hurricane Center.
Pasco County opened the Fasano Regional Hurricane Shelter at 6:30 p.m. The shelter is located at 11611 Denton Avenue in Hudson. Transport will not be provided by the county.
The Sarasota County Emergency Operations Center is at Level 1 activation, with staff tracking the storm’s direction, intensity and potential community impacts.
Tampa International Airport is officially closed after flying its last commercial flight for the night ahead of Elsa’s arrival. The airport tweeted out video of the empty airport shortly after 6 p.m.
The last commercial flight, intended for passengers, is a sign of what’s to come, but is not the final flight of the night for TPA. Cargo flights are still expected to continue through 10 p.m., depending on weather conditions, but with the storm rolling in, it’s just a sign of the time that we’ll see some shutdowns as Elsa enters Tampa Bay.