ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) – The National Hurricane Center says Tropical Storm Elsa is strengthening and could became a hurricane before making landfall along Florida’s north Gulf coast. It’s complicating the search effort at the collapsed condo in Surfside, and could be near hurricane strength before it makes landfall somewhere between Tampa Bay and the Big Bend.
Forecasters also warn that it could push a storm surge of water into Tampa Bay neighborhoods. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has expanded a state of emergency to cover a dozen counties. Tampa International Airport plans to shut down Tuesday at 5 p.m.