Live updates: Tropical Storm Elsa on path to make landfall near Tampa, Florida

Lt. Gov. Jeanette Nunez is urging people in Florida to prepare for Tropical Storm Elsa now. Forecasts show the storm could make landfall along the Florida west coast tomorrow morning at “near hurricane strength,” she said.

Nunez said Florida has issued a state of emergency to “allow for flexibility of responses” and to ensure everyone has the resources they need to respond to the storm.

“We have more than 800,000 electrical workers on stand-by and the governor is in conversation with the counties to make sure we have sufficient resources,” she said.

Right now, 22 counties along Florida’s West Coast are under tropical storm warnings, Nunez said, adding that 12 counties on the Gulf Coast are under a storm surge warning.

“We ask that locals heed the emergency warnings and do not go to the beach,” she said during a news conference on Tuesday.

Floridians should start making preparations today, she said. That includes being prepared to be without power for a few days and having enough food and water for each family member, including pets, she added.

Nunez stressed that if people are asked to evacuate, they should listen to local officials. She said counties will open shelters as-needed if they issue evacuations.

“Over all, the state and Floridians, we know are well equipped to handle the storm. We have our state emergency response teams working around the clock to ensure counties have all the resources they need,” she said.

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