Tropical Storm Elsa brings heavy rain, gusty winds to southern Georgia

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – After blowing through the Gulf Coast and sending storms throughout Florida, Tropical Storm Elsa moved into southern Georgia, bringing with it heavy rains and gusty winds.

The storm made landfall near Horseshoe Beach in Florida’s Big Bend just before 11 a.m. after spreading downpours and even tornadoes across North Central Florida.

At 11 p.m., the National Hurricane Center said Elsa was 80 miles northwest of Brunswick, Georgia, with 45 mph maximum sustained winds. The storm was moving north-northeast at 16 mph.

On the forecast track, Elsa will move over Georgia Wednesday evening, over South Carolina early Thursday, over North Carolina later Thursday, pass near the eastern mid-Atlantic states late Thursday and move near or over the northeastern United States Friday.

In the Northeast Florida and Southeast Georgia area on Wednesday, a confirmed EF0 tornado caused some damage in Columbia County, southwest of Lake City. About 5 p.m., the National Weather Service confirmed radar imagery showed a tornado on the ground near Arlington. NWS also confirmed that a possible waterspout was captured on video near Green Cove Springs over the St. Johns River. In addition, NWS confirmed a tornado in Southeast Georgia.


Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis declared a state of emergency in more than 30 counties, including Alachua, Baker, Bradford, Clay, Duval, Nassau, Putnam, and Union and Columbia. Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp issued a state of emergency affecting 92 counties, including Brantley, Camden, Charlton Glynn and Ware counties.

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

National Hurricane Center 11 a.m. Wednesday one-sheet on Tropical Storm Elsa