NWS: Tropical storm watch in effect as Elsa heads toward area

Tropical Storm Elsa is expected to bring heavy rain capable of producing flash flooding to the area beginning late Thursday into Friday, according to the National Weather Service.

The NWS issued a tropical storm watch Wednesday as Elsa begins its quick climb up the East Coast. The storm is expected to move over Georgia tonight and through the Carolinas Thursday, where it will weaken to a tropical depression before eventually strengthening back to a tropical storm as it passes the mid-Atlantic coast late Thursday, the NWS said.

The storm is expected to bring winds of 20-30 mph with gusts up to 45 mph, although there’s still uncertainty and potential wind could be greater. Rainfall of 1 to 3 inches with locally higher amounts is forecast from Thursday afternoon into Friday.

“Dangerous marine conditions should also develop on the ocean waters south of Long Island, as well as on Long Island Sound, and the south shore and eastern bays of Long Island,” an advisory from the NWS says. “Tropical storm force winds will be most likely in those areas near the south shores of Long Island and southeast.”

Residents are encouraged to prepare for wind damage and complete preparations before wind becomes hazardous. Anyone living in an area vulnerable to flooding should also be prepared.

There’s currently little to no threat of storm surge flooding. The flooding threat will come from the rainfall.

The Associated Press reported the storm is responsible for one fatality in Florida and injured several others in Georgia after a tornado touched down.

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