Fort Lauderdale, Florida – Tropical storm Eta hit southern Florida and the Florida Keys early Monday morning with strong winds and heavy rain, the National Hurricane Center said. Many areas were flooded, beaches and corona virus testing sites were closed, public transportation was closed and some evacuations took place.
In Mexico and Central America the scores are dead and more than 100 are missing.
South Florida was already soaked by more than 14 inches of rain last month.
CBS News meteorologist David Parkinson said Monday morning that Etta “has changed the direction of humidity in Miami-Tate and Broward (districts) in Florida, causing significant flooding in the past day or so with less than a foot of rain.”
Miami-Date Commissioner Jose “Pepe” Dias warned that “in some areas, water is not being expelled as fast as it is coming in.”
Miami-Tate County Mayor Carlos Kimines said he was in frequent contact with county water officials about the fight to get the water out, which caused vehicles to stall, whitewash some intersections, and enter some homes.
The storm left nearly 18,000 homes and businesses without electricity in the Miami-Date and Broward counties. CBS Miami reported, Quoting Florida Power & Light.
The hurricane was reported to have reached a maximum speed of 65 mph on Monday morning and was moving westward into the southeastern Gulf of Mexico, the hurricane center said. It was centered about 80 miles west-northwest of the Key West and moved westward at a speed of 13 miles.
In the forecast route, the center of Etta will gradually stay away from the Florida Keys and South Florida from Monday night through the southeastern Gulf of Mexico until Monday night and Wednesday, the Hurricane Center said.
But one of Etta’s bands “set up shop now, not moving,” Parkinson explained. In addition, he said the rains in South Florida would be halted “before another round of rain targeted both Miami and southwest Florida Monday night and pulled too far from land in the Gulf of Etta.”
Etta caused a landslide late Sunday on the Lower Medakambe Key.
CBS Miami said A tractor-trailer truck was hanging on the side of a high-speed highway due to rainy roads from Etta.
Just before 5 a.m., a Florida highway patrol lost control of half the driver. The truck went to the right and pulled away from the shoulder, where it came to rest. Only minor injuries have been reported.
On Sunday night, Lauderhill officials in Florida responded to a report about a car that ran into a canal. Photographs taken by firefighters in a scene 30 miles north of Miami showed rescuers searching for more water near a parking lot.
Firefighters pulled someone out of the car and took him to hospital in critical condition, according to a report released by Lauderhill Fire. Respondents were constantly on the lookout for others.
Assistant Lauderhill Fire Chief Jeff Levy told CBS Miami, “A large number of firefighters got into the vehicle, pulled the victim out, pulled him out, started the CPR and took him to Broward General Hospital, where he recovered the pulse.”
In Miami, CBS Miami reported that a tree fell on the roof of a duplex and displaced seven people from two families. No one was injured.
In Keys, authorities ordered the evacuation of mobile home parks, campgrounds and RV parks and those in low-lying areas. Many school districts were closed as roads were already flooded and buses carrying students could be blown away. Several shelters were opened in Miami and Keys.
“Please take this storm seriously,” said Phil Johnson, Palm Beach County Emergency Management Director. “Please do not drive on flooded roads.”