Miami, United States, Nov 8 (efe-epa).- South Florida was suffering the effects of tropical storm Eta Sunday night, with flooding and thousands of households losing electricity, although it is not expected to become a hurricane until it hits the Gulf of Mexico, the US National Hurricane Center said.
According to the latest bulletin, issued at 10:00 p.m. local time (03:00 GMT Monday), Eta is very close to the southern tip of the Florida peninsula and maintains winds of about 100kmph.
The tropical storm is moving to the northwest at 22kmph and will pass along the Florida Keys throughout Monday morning.
Until it becomes a Category 1 hurricane after Monday at noon (17:00 GMT), Eta will leave “heavy rains and flash floods” that could endanger the lives of residents, who will suffer also the effects of strong winds and dangerous swells, authorities said.
Several urban areas in South Florida, a region in the northern and northeastern part of the system, which is leaving more rain discharges, suffered floods as a result of the heavy rainfall that fell over the weekend.
The situation is expected to worsen as the hours pass and the arrival of new bands of rain from Eta to the region, which is in a state of alarm.
More than 35,000 customers of the Florida Power Light company are without fluid in South Florida due to the passage of the meteorological phenomenon.
But the biggest danger is water, and storm surge flooding can peak 1.2 meters above the usual high tide, according to a report released Sunday by Monroe County, to which Florida Keys belongs.
Rain could make matters worse with flooding of up to 3.6 meters, with isolated maximum amounts of near 5.4 meters.
The accumulation of rainwater and the storm surge can mean, they said, that streets can remain flooded “for days.”
Eta arrives in the United States after crossing the island of Cuba this Sunday, where it left significant floods, and after devastating Central America and southern Mexico with at least 93 deaths, 171 missing and a landscape of destruction with incalculable damage.
Heavy rains will continue in Cuba as well as parts of Jamaica and the Bahamas, with the risk of flooding in the Spanish-speaking Caribbean island, the hurricane center said. EFE-EPA