Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis declared a state of emergency in several counties Saturday morning ahead of Tropical Storm Elsa.
The system, which was downgraded from a hurricane to a tropical storm on Saturday morning, is expected to bring rain and wind to Florida as early as Sunday. The National Hurricane Center says the eye of the storm will most likely make landfall on western Florida by Monday or Tuesday.
Cuba is preparing to evacuate people along the island’s southern region amid fears that the system could unleash heavy flooding after battering several Caribbean islands, killing at least three people. The government opened shelters and moved to protect sugarcane and cocoa crops ahead of the storm.
The storm killed one person in St. Lucia, according to the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency. Meanwhile, a 15-year-old boy and a 75-year-old woman died Saturday in separate events in the Dominican Republic after walls collapsed on them, according to a statement from the Emergency Operations Center.
As of Sunday morning, Elsa was located about 175 miles (280 kilometers) east-southeast of Montego Bay, Jamaica, and was speeding west-northwest at 17 mph. It had maximum sustained winds of 65 mph.