A strong tropical storm Eta is raging across Cuba on Sunday with Florida in its sights after leaving dozens of people dead in Central America.
The National Hurricane Center (NHC) said as of Sunday morning that the fully packed Eta maintains a winds of 60 mph, and is located about 280 miles south-southeast of Miami, moving towards northeast at 12 mph.
The NHC said in its latest consultation: “Eta to the mainland on eastern-central Cuba”. “Expected to create dangerous storm surges, flash floods and strong winds over parts of Cuba and Florida.”
SOUTHEAST RENEWAL BEFORE ETA FOLLOWING SECTION ETA, NORTHERN REGION RIVER
The Eta center is scheduled to move through central Cuba on Sunday before tracking across the Florida Strait. Eta is expected then to make a close pass or pass through the Florida Keys on Sunday night early Monday.
Eta is expected to stay close to hurricane intensity as it moves over or near the Florida Keys, with hurricane tracking in effect on the Keys as well as the Florida coast from Deerfield Beach to Bonita Beach.
The hurricane shouldn’t be a major wind threat, but it will bring plenty of rain on wetlands south of Florida until Monday.
Some areas in central and southern Florida can experience 6 to 12 inches of rainfall, with some as up to 18 inches.
In addition to the risk of storm surge, Beta also provides end-of-Monday tornado hazard in areas south of Florida and the Keys.
After passing the Keys, the storm would persist east of the Gulf of Mexico for a few days and then the forecast became very uncertain.
Before the storm, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis declared a state of emergency on Saturday for eight of the state’s southern counties “in extreme vigil” about the approaching storm.
ETA CAN INCREASE THREE FLORIDA AFTER DEATHING CENTRAL DRUGS
DeSantis issued an executive order declaring a state of emergency in Broward, Collier, Hendry, Lee, Martin, Miami-Dade, Monroe and Palm Beach counties.
Florida Power & Light (FPL) said on Saturday it expects “a significant number” of customers in Florida’s south and southwest regions to lose power due to the hurricane affecting the state within a few days. .
“In some areas, customers may experience power outages more than once when weather bands move through,” the utility said.
The FPL says it has pre-positioned around 10,000 workers who can help restore power.
Residents in South Florida spent Saturday filling sandbags in preparation for the storm’s heavy rains.
“My garage needs sandbags to prevent water,” Miami Beach resident Annie Perez told WSVN-TV. “My land gets flooded even when there is no storm.”
South Florida has seen a long-lasting rainstorm recently, which has saturated the ground and local officials are concerned about flooding.
“Flooding is a major concern,” Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez said on Saturday.
Miami-Dade County declared a state of emergency on Friday night and also warned a flood monitoring regime would go into effect until Tuesday night.
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Eta was a Category 4 hurricane before making landfall in Central America, and authorities from Panama to Mexico are still investigating the damage after torrential rainy days of the week.
The storm’s downpours caused terrible landslides that killed dozens of people in the area.
Rescuers were forced to stop efforts in Guatemala on Saturday due to relentless rain causing unsafe conditions.
Emergency worker Juan Alberto Leal told Reuters: “We are coordinating to have all staff evacuated during the morning because we cannot work there. If we stay, it will lose our lives.
About 150 houses in a village were destroyed.
US-Bravo Army’s Joint Task Force rescued 11 people on Friday morning in Honduras, where severe floods and landslides were also reported.
According to Chiapas state civil defense official, Elías Morales Rodríguez, in southern Mexico, across the border with Guatemala, at least 20 people died from heavy rains caused by Eta causing landslides and flooding rivers and rivers.
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The worst incident in Mexico occurred in the mountainous town of Chenalho, where 10 people were swept away by rainwater; Their bodies were later found downstream.
The floods in the neighboring state of Tabasco were so bad that President Andrés Manuel López Obrador had to cut a short trip to western Mexico and fly to Tabasco, his home state, to oversee relief efforts.
Fox News’s Rick Reichmuth and Associated Press contributed to this report.