Tracking the Tropics: Eta lashes Florida with strong winds, heavy rain

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Tropical Storm Eta continues to lash South Florida and the Florida Keys with strong winds and heavy rains on Monday morning, with forecasters warning of dangerous storm surge occurring in the area.

Gov. Ron DeSantis declared a state of emergency Sunday for eight southern Florida counties, including Broward, Collier, Hendry, Lee, Martin, Miami-Dade, Monroe and Palm Beach counties.

Schools in Sarasota, Highlands and Hardee counties will be closed on Monday due to the storm’s threat.

Winds from Eta close both spans of Sunshine Skyway Bridge

At 5 a.m. ET Monday, Eta had maximum sustained winds of 65 mph, with tropical-storm-force winds extending outward up to 310 miles from the storm’s center. The storm was about 45 miles north-norhtwest of Key West, Florida, and 65 miles south of Naples, moving west-northwest at 13 mph.

Eta is expected to pull away from the Keys on Monday and move into the southeastern Gulf of Mexico, where it will likely become a hurricane on Monday night or Tuesday.

Sarasota County schools closed Monday due to Tropical Storm Eta threat

The storm could dump an additional 2 to 4 inches of rain on parts of South Florida, including the Keys. Some areas could

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