KEY WEST, FLA. (WSVN) - Hurricane Elsa is headed up the West Coast of Florida after the storm soaked the Florida Keys with rain and storm surge.
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Consistent rain fell in Monroe County all Tuesday morning.
Approximately 3 to 5 inches of rain was expected to fall for the day, but so far, the Keys are in good shape. Around 1 to 2 feet of storm surge was also expected on the island.
“This is by far our worst weather this summer,” Key West resident Dre Joras said.
“Wet and windy. Very, very wet and windy,” visitor Bill Messer said. “Wasn’t expecting this.”
Earlier in the morning, near Sand Key Lighthouse, about 10 miles south of Key West, a wind gust was clocked at 45 mph. Another gust of wind was recorded at 70 mph not far away.
Waves of up to 3 feet could be seen smashing against the surrounding walls.
“Oh, my gosh, it’s crazy,” visitor Karen Winkler said. “It’s pretty wild out there. We’ve had a blast driving around, seeing the waves.”
According to the U.S. Coast Guard, members rescued 12 people who went overboard a cargo ship 23 miles off of Key West.
In true Key West fashion, shops were open and people even went out for a walk. People could also be seen trying to drive in the heavy rainfall.
On Duval Street, only a few sandbags could be seen by the doorways of businesses. Residents are hoping the weather gets better.
“It seems like the sky’s gotten a little bit lighter than it was earlier,” a man said.
Many business owners said they don’t consider Elsa much of a threat. Some businesses will be closed, but others plan to remain open.
However, as quick as the storm surge came, it went away, and more people could be seen walking along the city’s streets as the afternoon arrived.
“At least it’s quiet, but you’re starting to see people come out, and that’s a good sign,” visitor Joy Tormos said.
Late Tuesday, the bars that line Duval Street were open, tourists lined up at the Southernmost Point and the sun reappeared before it set.
Key West is expected to have a drier forecast in the upcoming days.
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