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Elsa makes landfall along Florida’s Gulf Coast

High water as Tropical Storm Elsa comes ashore near Horseshow Beach.
High water as Tropical Storm Elsa comes ashore near Horseshow Beach.

HORSESHOE BEACH, Fla. – Tropical Storm Elsa made landfall late Wednesday morning in Taylor County along Florida’s northern Gulf Coast, the National Hurricane Center said.

Elsa wobbled through the Gulf of Mexico, briefly reaching hurricane strength, but moved ashore as a tropical storm, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said Wednesday in its 11 a.m. advisory.

The storm made landfall in lightly populated Taylor County -- near Dixie County’s Horseshoe Beach -- with maximum sustained winds estimated at 65 mph.

PHOTOS: Elsa makes landfall near Horseshoe Beach

When News4Jax arrived in Horseshoe Beach around 11 a.m., storm surge, downed trees, underwater roads and roof damage could be seen.

The National Weather Service in Tallahassee also said there were reports of flash flooding and rising storm surge from Dixie County.

Gov. Ron DeSantis said at a morning news conference that no major structural damage or deaths from the storm had been reported.

“Clearly, this could have been worse,” DeSantis said, adding that many storm-related deaths come after the system passes. “Be very careful when you’re working to clear debris.”

Elsa is the season’s fifth named storm and the first Atlantic hurricane of 2021.


About the Author:

Lifetime Jacksonville resident anchors the 8 and 9 a.m. weekday newscasts and is part of the News4Jax I-Team.