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SC Officials Watch Elsa, but Don't Expect Major Problems

Tropical Storm Elsa NOAA July 5, 2021
This GOES-16 GeoColor satellite image taken Monday, July 5, 2021, at 4:50 p.m. EDT, and provided by NOAA, shows Tropical Storm Elsa over western Cuba with strong rain and winds. Forecasters say it will move on to the Florida Keys on Tuesday and Florida’s central Gulf coast by Wednesday. The storm is moving over mainly rural areas to the east of Havana on Monday after making landfall near Cienega de Zapata, a natural park with few inhabitants. (NOAA via AP)

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — Emergency officials in South Carolina are watching Tropical Storm Elsa, but no evacuations have been ordered during the peak summer tourism season along the state’s beaches.

The governor and local leaders stuck to statements Tuesday instead of the TV briefings that interrupt programming when stronger storms threaten from the Atlantic Ocean.

Elsa is expected to track inland over South Carolina after making landfall on the Gulf of Mexico coast of Florida. But coastal forecasters in South Carolina noted the worst weather was on the east side of the storm and could dump up to 5 inches (13 centimeters) of rain and bring wind gusts up to 55 mph (88 kph) in places like Hilton Head Island, Charleston and Myrtle Beach.

The storm is forecast to be a tropical depression by the time it crosses the state, but tropical storm warnings were posted from Charleston County south just in case Elsa doesn't weaken as much as expected.

Elsa would be the third tropical system to impact South Carolina early in the 2021 hurricane season. Tropical Storm Danny hit land near Hilton Head Island on June 28 and Tropical Depression Claudette moved across the northern part of the state June 20 after making landfall in Louisiana.