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Tropical Storm Elsa Update

Posted: July 6, 2021

As Tropical Storm Elsa continues to move toward our area, the Punta Gorda Fire Department and Punta Gorda Police Department want to provide an update to let residents know what they should expect.

NOAA Storm Map

The current forecast shows that we will likely experience tropical storm force winds and heavy rain beginning this afternoon and continuing through the evening. Overnight, we will likely experience the effects of storm surge, which may cause localized flooding, especially in the downtown area, the Historic District, roadways along the river, and other low lying areas along the coast. There is also the possibility for sporadic tornadoes to develop.

Please keep the following in mind both during and after the storm:

  • Remain indoors and avoid driving if possible.
  • Do not drive vehicles down roadways with standing water. Water is often deeper than it appears and can cause substantial damage to your vehicle and leave you stranded. This can also tie up emergency personnel who may be needed elsewhere.
  • The Florida Department of Transportation will deem bridges closed should sustained winds reach 40 miles per hour.
  • Should you lose power, do not operate generators indoors, in garages, or near open windows or doors. Generators should only be used in open spaces as far from your home as possible.
  • Avoid fallen power lines, even if you believe they are not active.

Update: July 7, 2021 5:15 a.m.

We are currently experiencing localized flooding in the downtown area and on the roadways along the river. We do not anticipate that the water will begin to receed until 6:15 a.m. at the earliest and we expect that water will remain throughout part the morning. Please avoid the area and do not drive vehicles down roadways with standing water. It can cause serious damage to  vehicles and leave you stranded.