Update: Preparing For Elsa


An updated track for Tropical Storm Elsa from NOAA NWS National Hurricane Center places it slightly further west, which could mean a more significant impact regionally.

According to the Delaware Emergency Management Agency, the main threats are expected to include rain, flooding, and increased rip currents starting late Thursday. The experience with Tropical Storm Isaias last year, however, indicates a variety of other possibilities exist with tropical storms such as tornadoes, high winds and flash flooding.

The impact of the storm is expected to continue into Friday morning.

For more:

WGMD Storm Center

US National Weather Service Philadelphia/Mount Holly.



DEMA News release:

Smyrna, DE – The Delaware Emergency Management Agency (DEMA) along with local, state, and federal partners, are closely monitoring Tropical Storm Elsa.  We continue to coordinate with the counties and key state agencies to ensure readiness if the system worsens.  A Tropical Storm Watch has been issued by the National Weather Service for Sussex County with expansion of the Watch expected.  The updated track for Tropical Storm Elsa from NOAA NWS National Hurricane Center is slightly further west, which could mean a more significant impact for the state.  The main threats are anticipated to include rain, flooding, and increased rip currents beginning late Thursday.  But as we saw with Tropical Storm Isaias last summer, a variety of threats exist with Tropical Storms including tornadoes, high winds, flash flooding, etc.  Power outages are possible.  Plan ahead now and be prepared. 

Prepare Your Home 

  • Secure loose outdoor items such as grills, trash and recycling cans, and patio furniture.   
  • Clear drains around your home to prevent flooding. 
  • Trim back trees and bushes to prevent storm damage.   
  • Have a plan for how to stay cool if the power goes out. 
  • If you have a generator, make sure that you have fuel and test it in advance.  Remember: never use a generator indoors! 

Prepare Your Vehicle 

  • Have a full tank of fuel 
  • Ensure tire pressures are correct 
  • Ensure that all lights are working. 

Charge Electronic Devices 

  • Keep phones, radios, and electronic devices fully charged in case of power outages.   
  • Have portable power banks to charge electronic devices. 

Make A Plan – preparede.org/make-a-plan 

  • Make a plan for where you would go if you had to leave your home due to an evacuation or if it sustained damage.  
  • Communicate and practice your plan with family.  
  • Have a list of emergency contacts and copies of important documents.  

Make An Emergency Kit – preparede.org/make-a-kit 

  • Make sure that you have emergency supplies, such as food and water, for each member of your family (and pets) to last >3 days.  
  • Have flashlights in case of power outages and fully charged power banks to charge electronic devices.   

Stay Informed 

For more preparedness tips: PrepareDE.org   

For weather updates from the National Weather Service: weather.gov/phi 

For updates on the roads: https://deldot.gov/ and through their app https://deldot.gov/mobile/

Worcester Co. news release:

he National Weather Service (NWS) issued a tropical storm and flash flood watch for the Worcester County area. NWS forecasters are predicting dangerous rip currents, two to three inches of rain, and winds between 35 to 40 mph, with gusts between 40 to 55 mph, beginning as soon as Thursday afternoon and continuing into Thursday night.

Worcester County Emergency Services (WCES) officials are monitoring the storm track and are urging the public to begin implementing precautionary measures.

Secure boats and outdoor objects, such as lawn furniture and trash cans, that could become airborne during high winds. Construction companies should secure equipment and properly dispose of debris. Other storm preparedness actions should include the following:

·         Gather flashlights, batteries, and a portable radio in the event of a power outage.

·         Keep water and canned/packaged foods on hand that do not require cooking or refrigeration.

·         Always avoid traveling on or crossing flooded roadways, and heed the public service message, “Turn Around, Don’t Drown.”

·         Swimmers, don’t enter water if unsure of conditions. Nearly all rip deaths happen at unguarded beaches or after guards have left.

Those residing in low-lying, flood-prone areas or mobile homes should make preparations for the possibility of evacuating due to the current weather forecasts for our area.

Learn more about storm preparedness at www.co.worcester.md.us where you can click on Know Your Zone to view a copy of the Worcester County Evacuation Zone Maps, craft an emergency preparedness kit customized to the needs of your family, and sign up for Code Red emergency alerts.

Ocean City news release:

The National Weather Service, Wakefield, has placed the Ocean City forecast area under a Tropical Storm Watch.  Ocean City Emergency Services is monitoring the projected path of Tropical Storm Elsa.  Currently, effects of the storm are expected to be in the Ocean City area beginning late Thursday, July 8.

The Town of Ocean City will be posting storm related information on various websites, social media outlets and through the Emergency Alert system.  In an effort to keep citizens informed with the most updated and accurate information, the Town of Ocean City will be posting storm related information on the following outlets:

The Town of Ocean City’s Emergency Services personnel will be working closely with local and state representatives to provide citizens with timely, accurate and essential information before, during and after the storm.  Citizens are encouraged to Know Your Zone and Division and be prepared for any impact the storm may have on Ocean City.  To begin preparing, citizens should build an emergency kit and make a family communications plan.  For more information regarding storm preparedness, please visit: http://www.ready.gov/hurricanes

(US Coast Guard news release)

PHILADELPHIA — The Coast Guard Captain of the Port Delaware Bay has set modified Port Condition Yankee throughout the port due to the potential for Tropical Storm Elsa to impact the Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware area in the next 24 hours.

Projections indicate the Delaware Bay Captain of the Port Zone will experience high winds, severe thunderstorms, and increased seas, surf and tidal surge. All members of the port community to include vessel owners and operators, vessel agents, pilots, and facility owners and operators are to take adequate precautions and to follow the Port Hurricane Contingency Plan.

  • Lightering and bunkering operations may proceed if previously approved by the Captain of the Port on a case-by-case basis.
  • All cargo operations utilizing cranes must cease when wind speeds reach 40mph.
  • All freight and tank barges are required to have a contingency plan in place in the event of an emergent situation. This should include verification of tug availability.
  • All local tug companies should have a list of tugs available for assistance prior to and after hurricane passage.
  • For vessel movements contact the Maritime Transportation System Recovery Unit at (267) 515-7294.

Mariners are advised that based on continued deteriorating weather conditions, the entrance to Delaware Bay may be closed to incoming traffic.

The COTP will broadcast notification using VHF-FM radio in the event any limitations or restrictions are imposed in the COTP Sector Delaware Bay area of responsibility. Additionally this notification will be forwarded to the Maritime Exchange and will be available as requested.

The Coast Guard will provide the best possible advance notification before changing port operational status. Vessel agents are reminded to ensure their ships are provided a copy of the Port Hurricane Contingency Plan which can also be found on Homeport at https://homeport.uscg.mil/DelawareBay.

Please refer to the Homeport website for additional information and checklists. If there are any questions regarding the expectations of the COTP, please contact (215) 271-4807.

For information on Tropical Storm Elsa’s progress and hurricane preparedness, please visit the National Hurricane Center’s webpage.

(Federal Emergency Management Agency message)

PHILADELPHIA – As Tropical Storm Elsa approaches the Mid-Atlantic, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is encouraging residents and business owners with interests in the Mid-Atlantic to stay aware of the weather and prepare for possible hazards such as flooding, tornadoes, and power outages. It only takes one storm to change your life, and that storm does not necessarily need to be a hurricane to cause damage.

“Tropical storms and hurricanes are not just a coastal threat. They can bring heavy rain, flooding, and damaging winds far enough inland that the entire Mid-Atlantic is at risk of these impacts,” said FEMA Region 3 Administrator MaryAnn Tierney. “FEMA is prepared to respond and support Mid-Atlantic communities. You should take steps to know your risk and prepare for severe weather. You can get started by downloading the FEMA App to your phone to get weather alerts from the National Weather Service and view preparedness tips/checklists.”

Preparedness Tips

  • Always follow instructions from your local public safety officials during severe weather emergencies.
  • If told to seek shelter or evacuate, do so without delay. Do not allow a fear of COVID-19 to prevent you from seeking shelter with others if that is your only option.
  • Have several ways to receive warnings/alerts from the National Weather Service. Do not rely on a single source of weather alert information.
  • Take steps to protect yourself and your property:
    • Gather food, water, and other emergency supplies for each member of your family. Don’t forget children and pets! Keep in mind each person’s specific needs, including medication. For a full list of emergency supplies, visit www.ready.gov/kit
    • Keep important documents in a safe place or create password-protected digital copies. Consider using a waterproof container to store the copies.
    •  Declutter drains and gutters to allow water to flow. Install check valves in plumbing to prevent backups.
    • Use a generator or other gasoline-powered machinery outdoors ONLY and away from windows.
    • Check on your neighbors to make sure they are safe and prepared.
    • Document your property in advance, including photographs, in case you need to make an insurance claim.
    • When sheltering in your home, find an interior room on the lowest possible level and away from windows. Duck and cover under or next to a sturdy object.
    • Know Your Zone! Become familiar with your evacuation zone, the evacuation route and shelter locations.
    • Visit www.ready.gov or talk to your local emergency manager if you have questions or need help making your severe weather safety plan.
    • If you are an individual with a disability, access, or functional needs, please visit www.ready.gov/disability for specialized preparedness and planning tips.


FEMA’s mission is helping people before, during, and after disasters. FEMA Region 3’s jurisdiction includes Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia.

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