Tropical Storm Eta

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Alex Shoemaker, Contributor

At 4 a.m eastern time on Thursday November 12, Eta made landfall with Florida. The tropical storm brought  high gusts of winds as well as heavy rainfall.  Eta remains at a tropical storm as it does not meet the criteria of a hurricane. For a storm to be a hurricane, it must have minimum sustained surface winds at 73 mph. So far, Eta has sustained winds at 50mph. The reason these winds make Eta a tropical storm is because a tropical storm has sustained winds within the range of 39 mph to 73mph.

Even though Eta is only a tropical storm it has caused many problems. In Florida, over 15,000 residents are without electricity.  Eta has also caused streets to flood and, according to reports, has torn roofs off of houses. Eta also stretches over a vast distance. It’s winds within the tropical-storm range have extended about 115 miles from its center. On top of all this, Eta poses the further threat of damage when it comes to boats and bridges.

Florida is also not the only place being affected by Eta. Virginia and the Carolinas are also being hit. The storm is carrying a lot of tropical moisture and because of this, both southern Virginia and the eastern part of Carolinas are receiving heavy rainfall.  According to the Weather Channel, an estimated  3 or more inches of rain may fall in those areas. Thus, creating a possibility of flash flooding. Outside of the US, Nicaragua and Honduras have experienced damage and flooding from Eta.  Trees have come down, bridges were damaged and even landslides have occured. 

According to the Weather Channel, the storm will move through northern Florida. The storm should then emerge off the southeast coast and move further out to sea. Over time the storm should decrease in power and eventually become a non-tropical low pressure system, meaning winds speeds should drop below the ranges. Sadly the pain is not over as a category four hurricane named lota hit Nicaragua on Tuesday, November 17 . According to CNN, “Hurricane Iota brings catastrophic winds and likely life-threatening flooding just miles from where Eta made landfall.”