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Florida Keys suffer minimal damage from Elsa

Tropical Storm Elsa brushed by the Lower Florida Keys and Key West Tuesday, July 6, leaving behind only minor impacts.

According to National Hurricane Center officials, during its closest approach to the Keys island chain around midday Tuesday, the center of the storm was about 55 miles to the west of Key West. At that time Elsa was a tropical storm with 60 mph winds, though the highest sustained winds Key West felt were about 40-45 mph according to forecasters at the Florida Keys National Weather Service Office.
The Florida Keys Overseas Highway is fully open and operational, as are Key West International Airport and Florida Keys Marathon International Airport.

Commercial flight operations at Key West International are to return to normal schedules by midday Wednesday, according to Monroe County Airports Director Richard Strickland. He suggested passengers contact airlines to confirm departure and arrival times.

Keys officials and infrastructure personnel reported only minor impacts along the island chain. In Key West, spokesperson Alyson Crean said some downed trees and blocked storm drains were cleaned up by city crews. Some city streets flooded, but by Tuesday afternoon the water had receded.

As of Tuesday night, Keys utilities reported no power outages and communications were intact.

There were no general visitor or resident evacuation orders for Elsa.

Normal summerlike weather patterns are returning to the Keys Wednesday.
A series of live Florida Keys webcams can be viewed here.
Elsa also passed by Tampa Bay causing some power outages, but little damage.

Tropical Weather Elsa
A jogger makes his way along Bayshore Blvd., in Tampa, Fla. as a wave breaks over a seawall, during the aftermath of Tropical Storm Elsa Wednesday, July 7, 2021. The Tampa Bay area was spared major damage as Elsa stayed off shore as it passed by. (AP Photo/John Raoux)