ORLANDO, Florida. – ***10:54 p.m. November 10, 2020***
The Tuesday 10 p.m. update has the track of Tropical Storm Eta make landfall in Florida on Thursday afternoon.
In central Florida, only Sumter County has a tropical storm warning.
People who live there should make plans to be prepared for tropical storm winds of 35-55 mph, some gusts can be much stronger. This could cause wind damage to lightweight constructions like awnings, metal buildings, detached garages, etc.
Tropical Storm Eta squatted in western Cuba on Tuesday after moving away from southern Florida, where it unleashed a deluge that inundated entire neighborhoods and covered the floors of some homes and businesses.
The 28th named storm in a record hurricane season was the first this year to make landfall in Florida. And now a 29th named storm has formed, moving east over the North Atlantic: Theta took shape on Monday night, eclipsing the record set in 2005, when hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma hit hit the Gulf Coast.
After hitting Nicaragua as a Category 4 hurricane and killing more than 100 people from Mexico to Panama, Eta dumped torrential rains on Cuba and southern Florida before moving into the Gulf of Mexico. With no strong steering winds to guide its path, the storm again drifted west in an unusual inverted S-curve.
As of Tuesday afternoon, it persisted just north of the Yucatan Channel between Cuba and Mexico, with peak winds of 60 mph (95 km/h). Forecasters said it would remain nearly stationary all day before moving north later in the week, but they had little confidence where it might touch down again.
Eta continued to swell rivers and flood coastal areas of Cuba. Some 25,000 people were evacuated with no deaths reported, but the downpour continued, with total accumulations of up to 25 inches (63 centimeters) forecast.
Forecasters predicted more heavy rain Tuesday in Cuba and southern Florida, where up to 23 inches are expected to accumulate. Eta barely made landfall on Sunday evening as it blew over Lower Matecumbe Key on its way to the Gulf of Mexico, but dumped water on densely populated neighborhoods from Monroe to Palm Beach counties.
Florida residents are all too familiar with the heavy tropical rains that fall like clockwork on summer afternoons. It was something else – a 100-year rain event, Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis called it. “Once the soil is saturated, there’s really no room for water,” Trantalis said.
“I looked outside and said oh my God, it’s happening, it’s happening!” said Cynthia Rowe in Miami Gardens.
“Now I have fish in my yard and everything is tough,” Davie resident Troy Rodriguez said wryly.
In Miami, authorities deployed portable pumps to drain stormwater from places along Biscayne Bay, such as the financial district of Brickell and upscale Coconut Grove, where streets resembled lakes.
No deaths were reported in Florida, unlike Central America and Mexico, where the toll was rising.
Nearly a week after Eta crashed ashore in Nicaragua, authorities from Panama to Guatemala reported more than 100 dead and an even higher number missing. Extensive flooding and landslides have affected hundreds of thousands of people in countries already struggling with the economic fallout from the pandemic.
In Florida, rain damaged one of the state’s largest COVID-19 testing sites, at Miami-Dade County’s Hard Rock Stadium, officials said. Throughout the pandemic, it has been one of the busiest places for people to get diagnosed with coronavirus. The site was to be closed until Wednesday or Thursday. At least seven other testing sites in the state were expected to remain closed on Tuesday.
“It’s very bad. In the past 20 years, I’ve never seen anything like it,” said Tito Carvalho, who owns a car radio business in Fort Lauderdale and estimated the water was deep. about a meter in some places. Some items of his business were damaged by the floods, he added.
Firefighters pulled a person from a car that had rammed into a canal Sunday night in Lauderhill, north of Miami. The patient was hospitalized in critical condition, authorities said. And a tractor-trailer was left hanging from the elevated Palmetto Freeway in Miami, the Florida Highway Patrol said, after the driver lost control.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis said on Twitter that Floridians should watch out for the storm over the next few days. Although this storm has moved offshore, it could still bring dangerous conditions to the Gulf Coast later this week,” he tweeted.
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