Storm expected to strengthen as it approaches South Florida
NASSAU, BAHAMAS — As Tropical Storm Eta neared Florida, the northwestern Bahamas experienced strong winds and heavy rainfall causing moderate flooding in some areas.
On its forecast track, the center of the storm was expected to pass near or over the Florida Keys early this morning and over the southeastern Gulf of Mexico late Monday and Tuesday
A tropical storm warning remains in effect for Abaco, Andros, the Berry Islands, Bimini, Eleuthera, Grand Bahama, New Providence, the Florida coast and Lake Okeechobee.
Hurricane conditions were expected last night and this morning across portions of the Florida Keys and southern Florida.
“Heavy rainfall from Eta will continue across portions of Cuba, Jamaica, The Bahamas, and southern Floriday and will spread north into central Florida,” the National Hurricane Center.
“This rain may result in significant, life-threatening flash flooding and river flooding Cuba.
“Significant flash and urban flooding are also possible for Jamaica, The Bahamas and southern Florida, along with potential minor river flooding in central Florida.”
Eta is expected to continue to produce four to eight inches of rain in The Bahamas.
Moderate flooding was reported in some areas of New Providence Sunday.
Lynden Pindling International Airport also closed flight operations as Air Traffic Control services suspended at noon due to the storm.
Flight services were expected to resume at 7am today.
The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) partially activated as portions of The Bahamas remained under storm warnings.
Shelters on nine islands, including New Providence were activated.
These included Abaco, Andros, the Berry Islands, Bimini, Eleuthera, Exuma, Grand Bahama, and Ragged Island.
As of 7pm, the storm was 90 miles south of Miami, Florida.
It had sustained winds of 65 miles per hour.
It was moving northwest at 14 miles per hour.
The storm was producing strong winds, dangerous storm surge, heavy rainfall and flashing flooding over South Florida and the keys.
A hurricane watch warning remains in effect for the Florida Keys, while a hurricane warning has been issued for Florida, from Golden Beach to Bonita Beach.
Tropical storm-force winds extend outward up to 175 miles from the center.
Meanwhile, a tropical wave is forecasted to move over the Central Caribbean.
The system has a 30 percent chance of further development over the next five days.