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Friday, September 17, 2021

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Elsa prompts a storm surge watch and tropical storm watch for Pinellas County

A storm surge WATCH and a Tropical Storm WATCH is in effect for Pinellas County.

A Storm Surge Watch means life-threatening inundation, from rising water moving inland from the coastline, is possible somewhere within this area within the next 48 hours

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A Tropical Storm Watch means tropical storm-force winds are possible somewhere within this area within the next 48 hours

Based on the current forecast from the National Weather Service
Peak Wind Forecast: 35-45 mph with gusts to 55 mph
Window for Tropical Storm force winds: Tuesday afternoon until early Wednesday morning

Due to the uncertainty in track, size and intensity and potential for winds 58 to 73 mph
– PLAN: Plan for dangerous wind of equivalent strong tropical storm force.
– PREPARE: Efforts to protect life and property should now be underway. Prepare for significant wind damage.
– ACT: Act now to complete preparations before the wind becomes hazardous.

Potential impacts from this storm from the wind

*WIND
– Some damage to roofing and siding materials, along with damage to porches, awnings, carports, and sheds. A few buildings experiencing window, door, and garage door failures. Mobile homes damaged, especially if unanchored. Unsecured lightweight objects become dangerous projectiles.
– Several large trees snapped or uprooted, but with greater numbers in places where trees are shallow rooted. Several fences and roadway signs blown over.
– Some roads impassable from large debris, and more within urban or heavily wooded places. A few bridges, causeways, and access routes impassable.
– Scattered power and communications outages, but more prevalent in areas with above ground lines.

* STORM SURGE
– Localized storm surge possible
– Peak Storm Surge Inundation: The potential for 2 to 3 feet above ground somewhere within surge prone areas
– Window of concern: Begins Tuesday night into Wednesday morning.

Due to the uncertainty in track, size and intensity and potential or storm
surge flooding of 2 to 3 feet above ground
– PLAN: Plan for storm surge flooding greater than 1 foot
above ground.
– PREPARE: Efforts should now be underway to prepare for
storm surge flooding, especially in low-lying vulnerable
areas.
– ACT: Take actions to protect life and property. Prepare to
leave if evacuation orders are given for your area.

Potential impacts from this storm from the storm surge
– Localized inundation with storm surge flooding mainly along immediate shorelines and in low-lying spots, or in areas farther inland near where higher surge waters move ashore.
– Sections of near-shore roads and parking lots become overspread with surge water. Driving conditions dangerous in places where surge water covers the road.
– Moderate beach erosion. Heavy surf also breaching dunes, mainly in usually vulnerable locations. Strong rip currents.
– Minor to locally moderate damage to marinas, docks, boardwalks, and piers. A few small craft broken away from moorings.

* FLOODING RAIN
– – Peak Rainfall Amounts: 3-6 inches, with locally higher amounts

– PLAN: Emergency plans should include the potential for moderate flooding from heavy rain. Evacuations and rescues are possible.
– PREPARE: Consider protective actions if you are in an area vulnerable to flooding.
– ACT: Heed any flood watches and warnings. Failure to take action may result in serious injury or loss of life.

– POTENTIAL IMPACTS: Significant
– Moderate rainfall flooding may prompt several evacuations and rescues.
– Rivers and tributaries may quickly become swollen with swifter currents and overspill their banks in a few places, especially in usually vulnerable spots. Small streams, creeks, canals, and ditches overflow.
– Flood waters can enter some structures or weaken foundations. Several places may experience expanded areas of rapid inundation at underpasses, low-lying spots, and
poor drainage areas. Some streets and parking lots take on moving water as storm drains and retention ponds overflow. Driving conditions become hazardous. Some road and bridge closures.

* TORNADO
– Situation is somewhat favorable for tornadoes
– PLAN: Emergency plans should include the potential for a few tornadoes.
– PREPARE: If your shelter is particularly vulnerable to tornadoes, prepare to relocate to safe shelter before hazardous weather arrives.
– ACT: If a tornado warning is issued, be ready to shelter quickly.


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