Elsa threatens mid-Atlantic with flash flooding as it heads for Delaware

Tropical Storm Elsa is seen on Friday near the Atlantic Coast. Image courtesy NOAA/NHCPhoto

July 9 (UPI) — Tropical Storm Elsa was moving fast over the Delmarva Peninsula on Friday morning on its push toward Delaware, threatening to cause flash flooding across the mid-Atlantic and northeastern United States.

In its 2 a.m. EDT update Friday, the National Hurricane Center said Elsa was located 45 miles southwest of Lewes, Del., and 100 miles southwest of Atlantic City, N.J. It had maximum sustained winds of 50 mph and was moving northeast at 25 mph.

Elsa made landfall late Wednesday morning in northwest Florida and has since moved in a northeasterly direction over Georgia, the Carolinas and Virginia.

“On the forecast track, Elsa will pass through the eastern mid-Atlantic states this morning and move near or over the northeastern United States this afternoon and tonight,” the NHC said.

Forecasters said Elsa will again enter the open Atlantic east of Canada sometime on Saturday afternoon.

Some tornadoes are possible in the storm’s path.

“A tornado or two will be possible today along the mid-Atlantic coast,” it said.

Forecasters said Elsa would deliver 2-4 inches of rain with isolated totals up to 6 inches across central and eastern North Carolina into southeastern Virginia and from the mid-Atlantic into New England through Friday, which could cause “urban flooding” in the northern mid-Atlantic states and “considerable flash and urban flooding” in New England.

“Isolated minor river flooding is also expected,” it said.

Tropical storm warnings were in effect for Fenwick Island, Del., to Sandy Hook, N.J., Delaware Bay south of Slaughter Beach and for Long Island from East Rockaway Inlet to the eastern tip along the south shore and from Port Jefferson Harbor eastward on the north shore.

New Haven, Conn., to Merrimack River, Mass., including Cape Cod, Block Island, Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket was also under a tropical storm warning.

Elsa is the fifth named storm of the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season, and is the earliest to arrive. Last year, Tropical Storm Eduardo didn’t form until July 5.

The other storms that preceded Elsa were Ana, Bill, Claudette and Danny. All were tropical storms.


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