Tropical Storm Elsa eyeing the Carolinas with wind gusts up to 45 mph

Published: Jul. 7, 2021 at 9:40 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Tropical storm Elsa is marching up the Florida coastline Wednesday night heading straight towards the Carolinas.

It’s packing high winds, up to 45 mph, and heavy rains.

Charlotte and the surrounding areas could see as much as three inches of rain starting early Thursday morning.

“Whoo honey. That water comes up like it floods,” one Little Sugar Creek Greenway goer told WBTV.

When the weather turns ugly, parts of Charlotte can be underwater fast.

It’s just something folks around here who live in low-lying areas have to deal with.

“You can’t come through here or anything.”

Summer storms in the Carolinas can be both beautiful, as well as deadly.

“This is the first storm with potential impacts to Charlotte,” Hannah Sanborn said.

But when a storm the size of Elsa shows up on the radar, it makes officials in change sit up and take notice.

“It’s a quick-moving storm which in some senses is good, but that also means we might see some very heavy rain periods,” Sanborn said.

With hurricane season well underway, people who deal in emergency situations say now might be a good time to tighten up that family preparedness plan.

“It’s always a good idea to have your emergency kit ready.”

Meghan Miles, from Duke Energy, says preparation now will avoid problems down the road.

“Practice your plan and make sure you have a good one in place for your family,” Miles said.

That plan should include a kit filled with non-perishable food, water, medications you need, flashlights and cell phone chargers. Also, make a bag for any animals you have.

Then, once the storm passes, make sure to be careful of any potential damage around your home. Just because that downed power line looks safe, doesn’t mean it is.

“Even if a line is down or sagging it still may be energized, so you need to use extreme caution,” Miles said.

The good news in all of this is the storm really didn’t hit Florida as hard as it could have, so power crews based here have been called back home in case things get worse back in the Carolinas.

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