Sarasota Beach and Streets Close Due to Tropical Storm Eta Flooding



Local police reported flooding in Sarasota, Florida, on November 11, as Tropical Storm Eta neared landfall. The storm’s eye was directly west of Sarasota as of 3.47 pm on Wednesday, and the city declared a local state of emergency earlier that afternoon, local media reported. The National Hurricane Center’s advisory on Wednesday warned of heavy rain and strong wind across west-central Florida, as well as possible flooding across the area. Sarasota County warned of road closures and planned water outages in certain neighborhoods starting from Wednesday night. The first clip shows Sarasota’s Lido Beach closed off due to high surf. The second clip shows officers diverting traffic due to flooding on local roadways. Credit: Sarasota Police Department via Storyful



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Theta storm forms in Atlantic; update on Eta path in Gulf of Mexico




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Tropical Storm Eta soaks South Florida after landfall at the Keys




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‘We Need a Boat Today’: Miami Hit by Flooding From Tropical Storm Eta



Tropical Storm Eta brought strong wind and heavy rain to Florida’s Miami-Dade County as it made landfall on November 8. This footage, posted on Twitter by Gabby Darder, shows flooding in areas of Hialeah, a city in Miami-Dade County, on November 9. A car can be seen driving through flood waters on West 26th Place. The National Hurricane Center said life-threatening flash flooding was possible in areas of southeast Florida with hurricane conditions expected Sunday night and early Monday. Local media reported that many South Florida residents experienced power outages on Monday. Florida Power and Light said that 9,070 customers were without power in Miami-Dade County, and 8,730 customers in Broward. Credit: Gabby Darder via Storyful



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Tropical Storm Eta: Florida braces for impact after dozens die in Central America | World News


Dozens of people have been killed in central America and at least 100 are missing after Tropical Storm Eta caused landslides and rivers burst their banks.

Authorities in Guatemala raised the death toll there to 27 from 15 and said more than 100 people were missing, many of them in a landslide in San Cristobal Verapaz.

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A community road leading to Puerto Cortes in Honduras is seen after it was flooded

Local officials in Honduras reported 21 dead, though the national disaster agency has confirmed only eight.

Eta initially hit Nicaragua as a Category 4 hurricane, and authorities from Panama to Mexico are still surveying the damage following days of torrential rain during the week.

In Guatemala, search teams first had to overcome multiple landslides and deep mud just to reach the site, where officials have estimated some 150 homes were devastated.

In southern Mexico, across the border from Guatemala, 20 people died as heavy rains caused mudslides and swelled streams and rivers, according to Chiapas state civil defence official Elías Morales Rodríguez.

On Saturday the storm swelled rivers and flooded coastal zones in Cuba, where 25,000 had been evacuated. But there were no reports of deaths.

Eta made landfall in Florida early on Monday, bringing heavy rains to already flooded city streets.

Beaches and coronavirus testing sites were closed and public transportation was shut down.

A woman crosses the street during a heavy rain and wind in Miami
Image:
A woman crosses the street during a heavy rain and wind in Miami

The system’s slow speed and heavy rains pose a large threat to an area which was already drenched by more than 350mm (14in) of rain last month.

Forecasters said Eta could dump an additional 150-300mm (6-12in) of rain.

Schools in several districts have been closed, with authorities saying the roads were already too flooded and the winds could be too strong for buses to transport students. Shelters also opened in Miami and the Florida Keys.

“Please take this storm seriously,” urged Palm Beach County emergency management director Bill Johnson.

“Please don’t drive through flooded roadways.”

In the Florida Keys, the mayor ordered mandatory evacuations for mobile home parks, campgrounds and RV parks and those in low-lying areas.

On the forecast track, Eta is expected to move out into the southeastern Gulf of Mexico and intensify into a hurricane late Monday or Tuesday.



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Eta strikes Florida Keys; expected to become hurricane


HAVANA (AP) — A strengthening Tropical Storm Eta made landfall on Florida’s Lower Matecumbe Key on Sunday night, days after leaving scores of dead and over 100 missing in Mexico and Central America.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami declared hurricane and storm surge warnings for the Keys from Ocean Reef to the Dry Tortugas, including Florida Bay.

Florida officials closed beaches, ports and COVID testing sites, shut down public transportation and urged residents to stay off the street. Several shelters also opened in Miami and the Florida Keys for residents in mobile homes and low lying areas. Broward County also shut down in-person schooling Monday and Miami seemed poised to do the same.

On Sunday night, authorities in Lauderhill, Florida, responded to a report of a car that had driven into a canal. Photos taken by fire units on the scene about 30 miles (48 kilometers) north of Miami showed rescuers searching what appeared to be flooded waters near a parking lot.

Firefighters pulled one person from a car and took the patient to a hospital in critical condition, according to a statement from Lauderhill Fire’s public information officer. Responders were continuing to search for others.

Eta had maximum sustained winds of 65 mph (100 kph) on Sunday night and was centered about 30 miles (45 kilometers) east-northeast of Marathon, Florida, and 70 miles (115 kilometers) east-northeast of Key West. It was moving west-northwest at 14 mph (22 kph).

The storm swelled rivers and flooded coastal zones in Cuba, where 25,000 had been evacuated. But there were no reports of deaths.

Eta earlier hit Cuba even as searchers in Guatemala were still digging for people believed buried by a massive, rain-fueled landslide. Authorities on Sunday raised the known death toll there to 27 from 15 and said more than 100 were missing in Guatemala, many of them in the landslide in San Cristobal Verapaz.

Some 60,000 people had been evacuated in Guatemala.

At least 20 people also were reported dead in southern Mexico and local officials in Honduras reported 21, though the national disaster agency had confirmed only eight.

Pope Francis on Sunday spoke about the population of Central America, hit “by a violent hurricane, which has caused many victims and huge damage, worsened as well by the already difficult situation due to the pandemic.” Speaking to faithful gathered in St. Peter’s Square, Francis prayed that “the Lord welcome the deceased, comfort their families and sustain all those so tried, as well as all those who are doing their best to help them.”

In Florida, Gov. Ron DeSantis declared a state of emergency Saturday for eight counties at the end of the state as Eta approached, urging residents to stock up on supplies. South Florida started emptying ports and a small number of shelters opened in Miami and the Florida Keys for residents in mobile homes and low-lying areas.

Miami-Dade County declared a state of emergency Friday night and also warned a flood watch would be in effect through Tuesday night.

Further south in the Keys, officials were monitoring the storm closely, but had no plans yet to evacuate tourists or residents. They urged residents to secure their boats and encouraged visitors to consider altering plans until Eta had passed.

Eta initially hit Nicaragua as a Category 4 hurricane, and authorities from Panama to Mexico were still surveying the damages following days of torrential rains during the week.

In Guatemala, search teams first had to overcome multiple landslides and deep mud just to reach the site where officials have estimated some 150 homes were devastated.

In the worst-hit village, Quejá, at least five bodies have been pulled from the mud. The Indigenous community of about 1,200 residents consisted of simple homes of wood and tin roofs clinging to the mountainside.

Rescue workers used a helicopter to evacuate survivor Emilio Caal, who said he lost as many as 40 family members and relatives. Caal, 65, suffered a dislocated shoulder when the landslide sent rocks, trees and earth hurtling onto the home where he was about to sit down to lunch with his wife and grandchildren. Caal said he was blown several yards (meters) by the force of the slide, and that none of the others were able to get out.

“My wife is dead, my grandchildren are dead,” said Caal from a nearby hospital.

Firefighters’ spokesman Ruben Tellez said at least one additional person died in Guatemala on Sunday when a small plane went down while carrying emergency supplies to the stricken area.

In neighboring Honduras, 68-year-old María Elena Mejía Guadron died when the brown waters of the Chamelecon river poured into San Pedro Sula’s Planeta neighborhood before dawn Thursday.

In southern Mexico, across the border from Guatemala, 20 people died as heavy rains attributed to Eta caused mudslides and swelled streams and rivers, according to Chiapas state civil defense official Elías Morales Rodríguez.

The worst incident in Mexico occurred in the mountain township of Chenalho, where 10 people were swept away by a rain-swollen stream; their bodies were later found downstream.

Flooding in the neighboring state of Tabasco was so bad that President Andrés Manuel López Obrador cut short a trip to western Mexico and was flying to Tabasco, his home state, to oversee relief efforts.

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Associated Press writers Kelli Kennedy in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Marlon González in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, and Frances D’Emilio in Rome, Italy, contributed to this report.





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Tropical Storm Eta Makes Landfall in the Florida Keys After Strengthening


Tropical Storm Eta, the 28th named storm of this year’s busy hurricane season, made landfall on the central part of the Florida Keys late Sunday night, bringing strong winds and heavy rains to the region, the National Hurricane Center said.

The storm had maximum wind speeds of about 65 miles per hour as it struck Lower Matecumbe Key around 11 p.m. on Sunday, according to Doppler radar data, the center said.

The storm devastated portions of Central America, where it started on Tuesday as a Category 4 hurricane, leaving more than 50 dead in its wake before weakening to a tropical depression. It passed over the Cayman Islands and the northwestern Bahamas on Saturday and made landfall on the south-central coast of Cuba early Sunday morning.

It was about 70 miles east of Key West late Sunday night, according to an advisory from the center. The storm was moving northwest at 14 m.p.h.

The Florida Keys and South Florida were experiencing heavy rains and dangerous flooding. A life-threatening storm surge could occur in those areas as well as tornadoes, which were expected Sunday evening through Monday.

A hurricane watch was in effect for the Florida coast from Golden Beach to Bonita Beach. A hurricane warning was also issued for the Florida Keys, from Ocean Reef to the Dry Tortugas, including Florida Bay.

A tropical storm warning was in effect for South Florida, from the Brevard and Volusia County line to Englewood, including Florida Bay and Lake Okeechobee.

On Saturday, Gov. Ron DeSantis declared a state of emergency for eight Florida counties, including Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach. All Covid-19 testing sites in Miami-Dade County have closed in preparation for the storm until further notice.

Dennis Feltgen, a meteorologist and spokesman at the National Hurricane Center in Miami, said the storm had expanded since striking Central America. Its zigzag path, steered by high and low pressure systems, is not uncommon for storms that form later in the season, he said.

Forecasters predicted six to 12 inches of rain, with isolated instances of 18 inches possible, in parts of South and Central Florida. Tropical-storm-force winds were expected to arrive in Florida by Sunday night.

“We had some pretty heavy rain on the grounds here in October, so the ground is already pretty saturated,” Mr. Feltgen said. “We’re looking at the potential for a lot of urban flooding around here.”

“We always say there’s no such thing as just a tropical storm,” Mr. Feltgen said. “You can get some very serious impacts from a tropical storm. This is a very big, very serious rainfall event.”

The storm made landfall in Nicaragua as a Category 4 hurricane, bringing devastation to portions of Central America with winds of up to 140 m.p.h. and heavy rainfall that reached 35 inches in some areas.

Flooding and mudslides contributed to at least 57 deaths in Guatemala, the country’s president, Alejandro Giammattei, said at a news conference on Thursday. One mudslide buried 25 houses and trapped dozens of people inside, The Associated Press reported.

Two miners were killed in mudslides in Nicaragua, The A.P. reported. In Honduras, a 12-year-old girl was killed when she became trapped in a mudslide.

The storm was downgraded to a tropical depression as it traveled over mountainous terrain, Mr. Feltgen said, but by Saturday it had strengthened again into a tropical storm.

With this storm, the unusually busy 2020 season tied a record set in 2005 for the most storms. That year, Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma battered the Gulf Coast, and so many storms grew strong enough to be named that meteorologists resorted to the Greek alphabet after exhausting the list of rotating names maintained by the World Meteorological Organization.

The agency never got to Eta that year, however, because the 28th storm was not identified until the season was over; it remained nameless. That last storm in 2005 was a subtropical storm that formed briefly in October near the Azores, a remote archipelago in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.

This season, the 28th storm followed Hurricane Zeta, which landed on Oct. 28 in Louisiana as a Category 2 hurricane, killing at least six people and causing widespread power outages in Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi and the Carolinas.

Azi Paybarah contributed reporting.





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Tropical Storm Eta making landfall in Cuba, heads toward southern Florida


The storm is expected to drench the Florida Keys.

Tropical Storm Eta made landfall early Sunday morning along the south central coast of Cuba with winds of 65 mph.

The storm is about 235 miles south-southeast of Miami and moving north at 14 mph.

The center of Eta will pass near the Florida Keys Sunday night and be just West of the Keys by Monday morning.

Rainfall continues to be the greatest risk with Eta, with locally over 2 feet of rain possible in parts of Cuba.

Up to 14 inches of rain will be possible in the Bahamas and parts of Florida could see 12-18 inches of rain. In some cases, this will be enough to cause life threatening flash flooding.

October in general tends to be a very wet month for southern Florida.

An additional concern will be the storm surge. Storm surges locally of up to 4 feet will be possible in parts of southern Florida in the storm surge-prone areas.

Additionally, there could possibly be tornadoes in Southern Florida as Eta moves through the region over the next 48 hours.

Once Eta makes it into the Gulf of Mexico, Eta will begin to slow down and its direction then becomes unclear.

Forecast models this morning actually have Eta stalling in the Gulf of Mexico through much of the upcoming week.

While the exact location and direction of Eta and its eventual stall remain unclear, there is potential that cold fronts moving across parts of the eastern U.S. could draw tropical moisture from Eta and create a potential for flash flooding in some spots along the East Coast later this week.

In the West, a storm system is beginning to move across part of the country, bringing snow, rain and some gusty winds.

Some of the most organized areas of snow this morning are in parts of Montana and the Rocky Mountains where locally up to 3 feet is expected through Tuesday.

This storm system and its associated dip in the jet stream is expected to bring wind gusts locally over 50 mph from parts of California all the way Wisconsin as wind gusts could be exacerbated in the higher terrains of the intermountain west.

Elsewhere, Los Angeles received 0.11 inches of rain on Saturday, ending a 172-day streak of no rain which is its 7th longest streak in history.

Las Vegas did not receive measurable rain and has smashed their record for longest dry streak already with 202 days since their last rainfall though the region might have an opportunity to pick up rainfall today.



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Strong Winds Lash Cayman Islands as Eta Regains Tropical Storm Strength



Strong winds battered palm trees in the Cayman Islands as Eta, which the National Hurricane Center (NHC) said had regained tropical-storm strength, approached on the morning of November 7. The NHC issued a Tropical Storm Warning for the Cayman Islands, parts of Cuba, northwest Bahamas, South Florida, and the Florida Keys. “Significant, life-threatening flash and river flooding will be possible in Cuba, along with landslides in areas of higher terrain,” the NHC said. “A tornado or two may occur Sunday evening and Sunday night over South Florida and the Keys,” they continued. The Cayman Islands, Jamaica, the Bahamas and South Florida were forecast to experience urban and flash flooding, the NHC said. Credit: @gonolesglp via Storyful



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