In South Florida, officials overseeing the search-and-rescue effort at Champlain Towers South are keeping an eye on Storm Elsa as a possible disruption.
At a Thursday evening news conference, Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Division Director Charles Cyrille urged residents to check their hurricane supplies.
“Contingency plans for this incident are in place should this system become a threat to Miami-Dade County,” he said. “Now is the time to prepare.”
Tropical Storm Elsa strengthened into a hurricane early Friday, and it still has Florida in sight for early next week, although the National Hurricane Center stressed that the forecast is uncertain this far out.
Closer targets, like the Lesser Antilles, are undoubtedly in the path of the storm. They’re bracing for several inches of rain and winds as strong as 75 mph, with higher gusts.
As of the 8:30 a.m. Friday update, Elsa was a hurricane, with maximum sustained winds of 75 mph and higher gusts that stretch up to 140 miles from the center, mainly to the north. Hurricane-force winds extended 25 miles from the center. Elsa was about 40 miles west of Barbados and about 75 miles east of St. Vincent.