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By the time you read this, the weather forecast will probably have already changed a dozen times. That’s what happens in Sunshine State summers, and when you add a tropical storm or hurricane into the mix, it gets even wetter around here.
So, we’re leaving it up to the experts to tell you what’s going on with Tropical Storm Elsa. They’ve got more people working on their teams to keep you informed than this one-person machine possibly can, but the least I can do is round up the important stuff for your perusal:
🚨 Gov. Ron DeSantis has issued a state of emergency for several Florida counties.
🌪 As of writing, Tropical Storm Elsa is projected to reach hurricane strength as it makes landfall in the Sunshine State. According to The Weather Channel, Florida’s Gulf Coast is anticipated to be hit the hardest as the storm winds its way through the state today; locally, we can expect some bands of heavy rain and wind.
☎️ The state’s price gouging hotline has been activated ahead of the storm. You can either report gouging by using the state attorney’s NO SCAM app, visiting MyFloridaLegal.com, or calling 1-866-9NO-SCAM.
📦 You probably should’ve had your disaster supply kit filled already, but this list by the Florida Division of Emergency Management is still good for safekeeping when the next one arrives. (It’s predicted to be a busy hurricane season.)
🌳 If this isn’t your first Florida storm rodeo, you’re probably familiar with the sight of fallen trees lining the streets. I did a quick search for local tree trimming services on Yelp, and there’s plenty to pick from.
Hopefully this helps — stay safe out there.
In other news...
⛑️ The non-collapsed portion of Champlain Towers South was demolished over the weekend in order to preempt possible damage by Tropical Storm Elsa. Although Miami seems to have been spared the brunt of the storm, the scene at the disaster site has not become any brighter: As of writing, the death toll stands at 32 with 113 people still unaccounted for. Search and rescue efforts remain ongoing. (NBC Miami / Local 10)
💚 Wellspring Counseling is providing free counseling to anyone who’s been affected by the tragedy in Surfside. One of the Miami therapy center’s trauma counselors, Angela Gonzalez, lived in Champlain Towers South and is currently hospitalized. More information about the services provided is available at 786-573-7010 and the following links. ➡️ (Wellspring Counseling / Miami Herald)
🛳 The legal dispute between Florida and the federal government over pandemic-related restrictions for cruises may not be over just yet. Yesterday, attorneys with the Department of Justice filed an appeal with the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals disputing a lower-court ruling that sided with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and Attorney General Ashley Moody. The originating lawsuit, which was filed by the State of Florida in April, challenged the Centers for Disease Control’s no sail order which shut the cruise industry down over the COVID-19 outbreak. (WKMG)