Tropical Storm Elsa on Thursday carved a destructive and soaking path up the US east coast after killing at least one person in Florida and spinning up a tornado at a US Navy base in Georgia that flipped recreational vehicles upside-down and blew one of them into a lake.
Elsa’s winds strengthened to 85 kph, as the storm dropped heavy rains on parts of North Carolina and Virginia, the US National Hurricane Center said.
Elsa was passing over the eastern mid-Atlantic states on Thursday night and was expected to move near or over the northeastern US yesterday.
No significant change in strength was expected through yesterday, and Elsa was forecast to become a post-topical cyclone by yesterday night, the center said.
Tropical storm warnings were in effect along the coast from North Carolina to Massachusetts.
There was a chance that Long Island in New York would see sustained tropical storm-force winds late on Thursday night and into yesterday morning, the US National Weather Service said.
The service’s Morehead City, North Carolina, office wrote on Twitter that a tornado was spotted near Fairfield on Thursday afternoon.
A tornado warning had been issued for North Carolina’s Hyde County and surrounding counties.
Elsa seemed to spare Florida from significant damage, although it still threatened flooding downpours and caused several tornado warnings.
Authorities in Jacksonville, Florida, said that one person was killed on Wednesday when a tree fell and struck two vehicles.
A spokesperson for the US Naval Air Force Atlantic Office said that a sailor assigned to a patrol and reconnaissance squadron was killed in Jacksonville on Thursday.
Nine people were on Wednesday injured evening in Georgia’s coastal Camden County when a tornado struck a campground for active-duty service members and military retirees.
Eight people who had sustained injuries were taken to hospitals, a military spokesperson said.
The tornado flipped over multiple recreational vehicles, throwing one of them into a lake 61m away, the service said in a preliminary report early on Thursday.
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