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Elsa Updates Across The Tampa Bay: Power Outages, Closures, Reopenings and More

Brandon Elsa HCSO 07072021.jfif A fallen tree blocks a roadway early in the morning while it's still dark out.
Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office
The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office has put up temporary flashing stop signs at Front Street and Lutie Drive in Brandon where a large, fallen tree is blocking the road.

As Tropical Storm Elsa continues to make its way across Florida and away from the Tampa Bay, here's what's happening.

As of 6:45 a.m. Wednesday morning, more than 3,000 Duke Energy customers were without power, and more than 8,000 are without power through TECO. That's down from more than 20,000 people who were without power at about 5 a.m.

RELATED: Elsa Brings Wind, Rain, Flooding As It Moves Past Tampa Bay Area

Barrier Islands Now Accessible

At about 4 a.m. Wednesday morning, Tropical Storm Elsa's center passed just off the coast of Clearwater.

Due to improved conditions, deputies began allowing access to the barrier islands and Pinellas County beaches at starting at 6:30 a.m.

At this time, there are no road closures and deputies are currently doing assessments throughout the county and we will provide updates if needed.

Tampa International Airport resumes operations

Tampa International Airport ersumed operations earlier than expected, at 8:30 a.m., after temporarily halting all flights due to Tropical Storm Elsa.

The airport did not sustain any damage from the storm. TPA’s roadways are clear, and the garages and rental car center are open.

While flights will resume later this morning, additional delays and cancellations throughout the day are possible as airlines ramp up operations. All travelers should check with their airlines for the most up-to-date flight schedules and arrive at the airport two hours before their flight.

Follow @FlyTPA on Twitter for the latest updates.

Hillsborough County officials urge staying at home

Hillsborough County residents are urged to stay inside while damage assessments from Tropical Storm Elsa continue. If residents have left their homes or safe locations, they need to exercise caution.

Expect additional rain and wind gusts today as the storm continues to move north. Stay in place while emergency personnel respond to hazards such as downed power lines, fallen trees, and flooded roadways.

If driving, follow these safety tips:

  • Don't drive through moving or standing water. Water that is 2 feet deep can disable most vehicles.
  • Treat non-functioning traffic signals as a four-way stop.
  • Observe all barricades and detours. They are there for your protection.
  • Avoid standing water. Floodwaters may contain fecal matter, bacteria, and viruses.
  • Stay away from downed utility lines. Always assume that every line is a power line, and that it is live.
  • Watch for workers clearing debris, and follow all directional instructions and detour signs.
  • Residents can call (813) 635-5400 to report flooding and road problems.

Aftermath Safety

  • Never use a generator inside a home, basement, shed, or garage, even if doors and windows are open.
  • Use an extension cord to make sure generators are at least 20 feet away from windows, doors, and vents.
  • Do not use a chainsaw if you are inexperienced in safely handling it. If using a chainsaw, use it only on stabilized items on the ground, wear protective equipment such as eye and hearing protection, heavy well-fitted footwear, and cut-resistant gloves.
  • Use the chainsaw at waist-level or below to prevent injuries to your head or upper body.

County Operations and Services


Hillsborough County offices and facilities, including parks and preserves, will reopen at noon on Wednesday, July 7.

Hillsborough County Parks & Recreation summer camps will be closed on Wednesday, July 7, and will reopen on Thursday, July 8.

I took my first photography class when I was 11. My stepmom begged a local group to let me into the adults-only class, and armed with a 35 mm disposable camera, I started my journey toward multimedia journalism.
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