Eta strengthened to a Category 1 hurricane earlier this morning but weakened slightly and had 70 miles per hour winds as of noon Wednesday, according to the National Hurricane Center. Additional weakening was possible as Eta approaches the coast. We will closely monitor this system over the next five days and keep you updated. It's possible Eta could re-strengthen back in to a hurricane in that time.
The rain also kept falling Tuesday in South Florida, where as much as 23 inches were expected to accumulate.
COPECO reported damages to 14,242 homes, 113 roads, three schools and 29 bridges, while 41,945 people were rescued and 39,399 transferred to one of 374 shelters set up around the country. I do think changes are likely over the next several days.
Although Eta is not expected to make landfall along the west coast of Florida, some impacts from rain bands and above normal tides far from the center of the storm can still be anticipated.
"Never seen this, never, not this deep", said Anthony Lyas, who has lived in his now-waterlogged Fort Lauderdale neighborhood since 1996. He described hearing water and debris slamming against his shuttered home overnight.
Many streets were flooded in South Florida and over 13,000 people were without power. Eta barely hit land late Sunday as it blew over Lower Matecumbe Key on its way into the Gulf of Mexico, but the storm dumped water over densely populated neighbourhoods from Monroe to Palm Beach counties. But Theta isn't a weak storm.
And with weeks to go until the official end of the Atlantic hurricane season, yet another storm looks to be forming south of Puerto Rico, the NHC said, and there's a 70% chance it will become the 30th named storm, breaking Theta's brand-new record.