Hurricane Elsa is expected to make landfall on July 7th somewhere north of Hernando County. The wind from this storm was expected to cause extensive damage as trees uproot due to the soil already being saturated by the rain. The last two months have been very wet and trees have been toppling without strong winds.
The falling trees often knock down power lines. This means that Hernando County is at a significant risk of power outages.
After the power companies restore power to essential services and businesses, they then concentrate on restoring power to as many residential customers as quickly as possible. They usually start with the densely populated areas to quickly get power back on for large numbers of people. Residents living in the sparsely populated portions of the county generally have to wait longer.
There has already been more rain at the Brooksville Tampa Bay Regional Station in the first six days of July than there was in any other month this year except June. June saw more rainfall than the first five months of the year. The beginning of the year was very dry, but June and July have replenished many of the areas that dried out.
Below are the rainfall totals for the months so far in 2021. The data is from Brooksville Tampa Bay Regional Airport, but it fits with the trend that is being observed in other parts of the county.
- January 2021 0.28
- February 2021 2.71
- March 2021 1.67
- April 2021 4.51
- May 2021 0.56
- June 2021 9.85
- July 2021 4.76
At the Board of County Commissioners workshop on Tuesday July 6, 2021, commissioners remarked on the fallen trees prior to Elsa’s arrival. They are expecting more trees to come down as the storm moves through the area.
County Administrator Jeff Rogers said that the county has $800,000 set aside in a fund for debris removal. Additionally Commissioner Champion stated that the county has three contractors for debris removal, a lesson learned from Hurricane Irma when their only contractor went south to clean up other counties.
“We’re the small potatoes compared to the other counties. Hopefully we won’t have that problem again,” said Champion.