Story at a glance

  • Tropical Storm Eta caused mass flooding in southern parts of Florida and will move across northern Florida regions on Thursday.
  • Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) asked President Trump for an Emergency Declaration to free up federal assistance if necessary.

Tropical storm Eta — briefly Hurricane Eta — is slated to move further inland in Florida on Thursday, bringing intense winds and heavy rainfall to parts of northeastern Florida after drenching southern parts of the state on Wednesday.

The National Hurricane Center issued an updated advisory on Thursday as the center of Eta prepares for landfall around north Florida. Cities like Gainesville and Jacksonville will face maximum sustained winds of about 45 miles per hour as the storm tracks northeast. 

Eta will also produce about 1 to 3 inches of rainfall across portions of the Florida Peninsula on Thursday, with a maximum of total rainfall volume between 20 to 25 inches for south Florida.


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Classic storm conditions are expected to impact the Gulf Coast, bringing dangerous rip currents along with “life-threatening surf.”

Storm surge and tropical storm warnings have been discontinued for the western Gulf Coast of Florida, while Flagler and Volusia County are now placed under a tropical storm warning. 

Places as far north as St. Andrew Sound in Georgia are also under this advisory.

Once Eta passes through northern Florida, it is anticipated to emerge into the western Atlantic Ocean by Thursday afternoon as a cyclone. 

“The cyclone is expected to accelerate over the western Atlantic and move parallel to, but offshore of the Carolinas before heading well east of the Mid-Atlantic coast by late Friday,” the advisory reads.

Although maximum estimated wind speeds have decelerated to about 45 miles per hour as Eta takes aim at north Florida, it could reintensify as a nontropical cyclone by Friday.

In light of the continued threatening conditions, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) extended the state of emergency declaration he issued earlier this week.

DeSantis also penned a formal letter to President Trump requesting an Emergency Declaration for Eta so federal emergency resources can be allocated to Florida in the event the storm causes catastrophic damage.

Eta is the latest storm to form in the Atlantic during a hectic hurricane season, with Subtropical Storm Theta becoming the 29th named storm in one year — the highest on record. 


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Published on Nov 12, 2020