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Officials at the site of the deadly Florida building collapse are keeping an eye on Hurricane Elsa, as stunning new video has been released of the hurricane barreling towards the Sunshine State.
Elsa was off the coast of Barbados early Friday, with sustained winds of 75 mph and could strike South Florida as early as Sunday night, according to the National Hurricane Center.
That could complicate search and rescue operations at the site of the collapsed Champlain Towers South in Surfside, where hundreds of workers continue to sift through the rubble after the June 24 tragedy.
“I’ve ordered our Department of Emergency Management to start preparing a potential state of emergency,” Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said during a briefing Friday morning.
“Now, we don’t know exactly the track that it’s going to take,” DeSantis said. “It is possible that we can see tropical force winds as early as Sunday night in Southern Florida.”
“Given what we’re doing on this site, we’re also paying special attention to any impacts that could happen here in Northeast Miami-Dade County,” he said. “It is possible that this area could see tropical force storm winds. It’s not guaranteed, but it is possible.”
Satellite images of the storm show massive swirling clouds and lightning strikes within the storm as it moves over the Atlantic Ocean.
Any work stoppage from the storm would be another blow to the recovery effort, which had to be temporarily halted Thursday over concerns about the safety of the remaining building structure.
Officials said Friday that 20 people have been confirmed dead in the building collapse and another 128 remain missing.
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