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HAVANA (AP) – Tropical Storm Elsa is sweeping along Cuba’s southern coast, and forecasters expect it to make landfall on the island’s central shore by midafternoon Monday.
Cuban officials evacuated 180,000 people as a precaution against the possibility of heavy flooding from a storm that already battered several Caribbean islands, killing at least three people.
Elsa is forecast to cross over Cuba by Monday night and then head for Florida, where a state of emergency has been declared in 15 counties, including in Miami-Dade County, where a high-rise condominium collapsed last week.
Forecasters say the storm will weaken some while crossing over Cuba, but is likely to strengthen slightly as it moves toward Florida. Elsa was the Atlantic season’s first hurricane before weakening into a tropical storm.