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Taylor County Deals With Flooding After Elsa Landfall

An image from above shows a tropical cyclone. An outline of Florida is shown under the storm.
This GOES-16 GeoColor satellite image taken Tuesday, July 6, 2021, at 5:50 p.m. EDT, and provided by NOAA, shows Tropical Storm Elsa in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Florida. The National Hurricane Center says Tropical Storm Elsa is strengthening and could became a hurricane before making landfall along Florida's north Gulf coast. In addition to damaging winds and heavy rains, the Miami-based U.S. National Hurricane Center warned of life-threatening storm surges, flooding and isolated tornadoes, (NOAA via AP)

After Elsa made landfall as a tropical storm Wednesday in North Florida’s Taylor County, recovery is underway. Officials say flooding is the largest remaining concern.

Elsa made landfall near Steinhatchee where Taylor County Emergency Management Director Kristy Anderson says most of the impacts are concentrated. Anderson says Elsa dumped heavy rain on the area.

“We received about five inches from Tropical Storm Elsa and it flooded some of our low lying areas. We didn’t receive any tidal surge per say. So the tidal surge wasn’t a big factor, it was the rain water,” Anderson says.

Anderson says several roads remain flooded. And she says when she visited Steinhatchee following the storm she talked with a few residents who had flooding in their homes.

“We’re still assessing. There were two homes in one neighborhood that received about 8 inches of inundation. They are getting that water out now. We are going to send the Red Cross down there to check on them. Red Cross has muck out buckets and they can help and our county road department is working diligently to get that water pumped out from those ditch areas and those roadways,” Anderson says.

Officials are urging motorists to avoid driving through any standing water on the road. Experts say just 12 inches of water is enough to sweep away a car. But Anderson says work is already underway and she expects any closed roads to reopen soon. Meanwhile. Anderson says she’s thankful Elsa turned out to be a more subdued storm than some had feared.

“We were prepared. We deal with this flooding, it seems yearly. This storm was a good practice for anything else that we receive. We hope we do not, but we will be ready,” Anderson says.

Follow @Regan_McCarthy

Regan McCarthy is the Assistant News Director for WFSU Public Media. Before coming to Tallahassee, Regan graduated with honors from Indiana University’s Ernie Pyle School of Journalism. She worked for several years for NPR member station WFIU in Bloomington, Ind., where she covered local and state government and produced feature and community stories.

Phone: (850) 645-6090 | rmccarthy@fsu.edu

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