Tropical Storm Elsa was tracking northward through the Gulf of Mexico and brought heavy rain, strong winds gusts, storm surge and isolated tornadoes to Florida through Wednesday. Elsa then spread some of its impact up the southeast and mid-Atlantic coasts. Bands of heavy rain and gusty winds have spread into South Florida, producing isolated tornadoes at times.
Elsa made landfall in Cuba on Monday, after 180,000 people were evacuated from southern regions amid fears of heavy flooding. It swept over western Cuba near Havana with strong rain and winds. The storm was passing over mainly rural areas to the east of Havana after making landfall near Ciénega de Zapata, a natural park with few inhabitants.
The Cuba government opened shelters and protected sugarcane and cocoa crops ahead of the storm.
Elsa moved near Montego Bay, Jamaica, and was speeding west-north-west at 17mph by Sunday. It had maximum sustained winds of 65mph, according to the National Hurricane Centre in Miami. It killed one person in St Lucia and a 15-year-old boy and a 75-year-old woman died Saturday in separate events in the Dominican Republic after walls collapsed on them.
Elsa was a Category 1 hurricane until Saturday morning, causing widespread damage in several eastern Caribbean islands on Friday, as the first hurricane of the Atlantic season.
Among the hardest hit was Barbados, where more than 1,100 people reported damaged houses, including 62 homes that completely collapsed as the government promised to find and fund temporary housing to avoid clustering people in shelters amid the pandemic.