Story at a glance

  • A hurricane watch is in effect from Anna Maria Island to Yankeetown and a storm surge warning has been issued for Bonita Beach to Suwanee River Florida, including Tampa Bay and Charlotte Harbor.
  • Eta first made landfall in Central America last week as a Category 4 hurricane and left at least 120 people dead in the region and dozens of others missing, according to The Associated Press.
  • The storm is poised to hit Florida amid a record-breaking storm season in the Atlantic.

Florida’s Gulf Coast is bracing for the impact of Tropical Storm Eta as its forecast to make landfall in the state early Thursday. 

The storm has been churning in the Gulf of Mexico since last week and crossed over South Florida on Sunday. 

Eta, which regained strength Wednesday morning to briefly become a Category 1 Hurricane, is about 100 miles southwest of Tampa and is moving northeast with sustained winds of 70 mph. 


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The National Hurricane Center says Eta is bringing heavy rainfall and gusty winds across the Tampa Bay region Wednesday evening that is expected to worsen into Thursday. 

A hurricane watch is in effect from Anna Maria Island to Yankeetown and a storm surge warning has been issued for Bonita Beach to Suwanee River in Florida, including Tampa Bay and Charlotte Harbor. A tornado watch has also been issued for Tampa, Fort Myers and Naples. Storm surge could be anywhere from 1 to 4 feet and rainfall could reach up to 6 inches in some areas. 

“There is a danger of life-threatening storm surge along portions of the Florida Gulf Coast,” the National Hurricane Center says

Tampa International Airport is suspending all operations starting Wednesday to allow staff to prepare the airfield and terminals ahead of the storm. Operations are expected to resume by noon Thursday. 

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) expanded an emergency declaration to include 13 counties along or near the coast. 

Eta first made landfall in Central America last week as a Category 4 hurricane and left at least 120 people dead in the region and dozens of others missing, according to The Associated Press. The storm also made landfall in Cuba and in the Lower Matecumbe Key on Sunday. 

The storm is poised to hit Florida amid a record-breaking storm season in the Atlantic. There have been 29 named storms this year, breaking the single-season record for the most named storms, which was recorded in 2005. 


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Published on Nov 11, 2020