ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — The National Hurricane Center says Tropical Storm Elsa is strengthening and was expected to become a hurricane before making landfall along Florida’s north Gulf coast. Landfall is expected early Wednesday somewhere between Tampa Bay and the Big Bend. Forecasters also warned that it could push a storm surge of water into Tampa Bay neighborhoods. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has expanded a state of emergency to cover 33 counties. Tampa International Airport shut down Tuesday at 5 p.m. In addition to damaging winds and heavy rains, the Miami-based U.S. National Hurricane Center warned of life-threatening storm surges, flooding and isolated tornadoes.
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