Tropical storm Eta brings gusty winds, heavy rains; South FL schools, courts closed, plus other shutdowns

Tropical Storm Eta, with graphic showing areas potentially being affected by the sustained winds of tropical storm force (in orange). The graphic also shows an approximate representation of coastal areas under a tropical storm warning (blue) and tropical storm watch (yellow). The white dot indicates the current position of the center of the tropical cyclone, as of 7 a.m. Credit: National Hurricane Center

Tropical storm Eta has been moving westward over the southeastern Gulf of Mexico, “with gusty winds and heavy rains still occurring over portions of South Florida and the Florida Keys,” according to an advisory at 7 a.m. from the National Hurricane Center.

Schools, beaches, parks and other venues have already been closed in South Florida, according to the Miami Herald.

Various courts have been shut down Monday, including trial courts in Broward, Charlotte, Collier, Glades, Hendry, Lee, Miami-Dade, Monroe and Palm Beach County, according to the Florida Supreme Court.

As of Saturday, Gov. Ron DeSantis issued an executive order declaring a state of emergency for Broward, Collier, Hendry, Lee, Martin, Miami-Dade, Monroe and Palm Beach counties.

The order said there is a “risk of severe flooding, strong winds, storm surge, hazardous seas, and the potential for isolated tornadic activity for portions of south Florida.”

A tropical storm warning is in effect for Florida’s coastal areas, from the Brevard/Volusia county line to Anna Marie Island, according to the advisory. The warning also includes Lake Okeechobee and the Florida Keys, from Ocean Reef to the Dry Tortugas.

more to come…

Diane Rado
Diane Rado has covered state and local government and public schools in six states over some 30 years, focusing on policy and investigative stories as well as legislative and political reporting. She spent most of her career at the St. Petersburg (Tampa Bay) Times and the Chicago Tribune. She has a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University and did a fellowship in education reform at the University of Michigan in 1999-2000. She is married to a journalist and has three adult children.