Tropical Storm Eta hits Florida

Eta's path towards the Gulf Coast.

Eta’s path towards the Gulf Coast.

Iliana Patterson, Staff Writer

Tropical storm Eta headed towards Florida as it strengthened over the Gulf of Mexico.  Eta was briefly a category 1 hurricane and slowly weakened as it reached landfall in Florida. Hurricane Eta went through southern Florida, though it didn’t do much damage as it was only a category 1 hurricane. Eta weakened to a tropical storm by the time it hit Tampa Bay, though the area was still expecting a tidal surge of up to four feet.

This storm was stated to be much less predictable than most storms as it was constantly changing course and strength. Although Eta was not a very powerful storm compared to most, according to Duke Energy, 35,000 people went without power Wednesday night. Many areas in Florida also flooded due to the storm, despite Eta weakening from a category 1 hurricane to a tropical storm. There were many reports of flooding in coastal areas such as St. Pete Beach and the Courtney Campbell Causeway.

The Pinellas County school district also cancelled school at ten A.M. Wednesday morning and also cancelled school on Thursday, as Hillsborough County cancelled school on both Thursday and Friday in preparation of the hurricane. Though these efforts may not have been needed, as there was hardly any rain yesterday after the hurricane passed.

Hurricane Eta was the twenty-eighth hurricane this year, though it is definitely not the last. Hurricane Theta is currently headed towards Cuba and South Florida, though it will most likely weaken over the Atlantic Ocean before it reaches land. Researchers have found that global warming may have contributed to the large number of hurricanes this year, as the warmer ocean contributes to this year’s over active hurricane season. Though hopefully as this hurricane season comes to an end, fewer cities will be affected by these storms.