KEY WEST, Fla. – The weather was beautiful in Key West as residents and visitors enjoyed the Fourth of July.
That is expected to change though, with the looming threat of Tropical Storm Elsa drawing closer.
“We want people to have a good time today and spend a lot of money down in the Keys, enjoy the fireworks, enjoy the festivities, but really make some plans for tomorrow,” said Monroe County Administrator Roman Gastesi.
The track for Tropical Storm Elsa has the center of the storm skirting just to the west of Key West sometime around Monday afternoon into the early evening.
Many locals aren’t overly concerned, though officials are urging them to be cautious.
“Just prepare because it could be squally, it could be windy,” Gastesi said. “50-60 mph winds could cause some damage.”
There aren’t any evacuation orders in place, but Gastesi said they are recommending those in less sturdy homes find somewhere inland to stay for a couple of days.
“If you live on a houseboat, live on a boat, live on a trailer, you should go to a safer location, a safer shelter,” he said.
In a press conference over the weekend Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis spoke about the storm as well, suggesting people get their storm kits re-stocked and make sure to be extra careful with generators if the power does go out.
“It’s important to remind Floridians, in the last 4 years, we’ve had more people die from carbon monoxide poisoning than from direct impacts from the storm that we’ve dealt with and we’ve dealt with a number of them,” said DeSantis.
Currently in the keys, officials estimate they have about 35-40,000 people visiting, and they say anyone intending to leave before the storm hits, make sure to hit the road as early as possible.