Eta Strengthens; Hurricane And Storm Surge Watch Issued In South Florida

Katie Ramirez
November 9, 2020

Monroe County Transfer Stations will be closed on Monday, Nov. 9 due to Tropical Storm Eta.

Before making landfall, the country's Civil Defense had issued an "Alarm Phase" for several western and central areas.

Weather officials issued a tropical storm watch Saturday for the Treasure Coast ahead of Tropical Storm Eta, expected to bring heavy rainfall and strong winds to the area starting Sunday. "It's going to take a lot to get this thing out of here".

Eta could bring flooding rain, storm surge and isolated tornadoes to the area.

A storm surge watch north of Card Sound Bridge to Golden Beach, including Biscayne Bay, was canceled on Sunday afternoon.

Perhaps befitting a year known for bruising surprises, after Eta's first pass at Florida, there may be a second. Trash collection will be delayed by a day this week throughout the Florida Keys, as long as conditions allow for trash collection to resume on Tuesday. Large waves and high surf are also anticipated from the storm on both the Atlantic and Gulf coasts, increasing the risk of rip currents at all area beaches. Accuweather said the most likely scenario was for Eta to roll off of Florida and emerge in the southeastern Gulf of Mexico early this coming week, possibly restrengthening into a hurricane yet again.

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Southern facing beaches will experience some storm surge flooding over the next couple of days, especially at high tide.

In southern Mexico, across the border from Guatemala, 19 people died as heavy rains attributed to Eta caused mudslides and swelled streams and rivers, according to Chiapas state civil defense official Elías Morales Rodríguez. The storm was located 195 miles west-southwest of Camaguey, Cuba and was moving northeast at 16 mph.

In a news conference, President Alejandro Giammattei said he believed there were at least 100 dead there in San Cristobal Verapaz, but noted that was still unconfirmed. Fresh landslides forced rescue workers to delay efforts to reach 150 homes buried in up to 50 feet of mud.

"We are coordinating so that all the personal are evacuated. because we can't work there", Juan Alberto Leal, the lead emergency worker in the town of Queja, told Reuters.

Still, even as the center of the storm will stay south of us, the worst of the weather with Eta will be on the northern and easter side of the storm. "If we stay, lives will be lost".

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