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Tropical Storm Eta to strengthen into hurricane before striking US coast Monday

Tropical Storm Eta is due to slam into the Florida Keys early Monday morning with hurricane-force winds and “life-threatening” storm surges, according to forecasts and news reports.

The storm, which ripped through Cuba on Sunday, is moving in on the US coast with sustained winds of 65 miles per hour and stronger gusts, the National Hurricane Center reported — forcing an emergency declaration in the Sunshine State.

Eta is expected to be upgraded to a hurricane by the time it hits the keys with up to a foot of rainfall and storm surges up to four feet, the NHC said.

“We are closely monitoring #Eta as this system is expected to approach our state this weekend,” Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said on Twitter. “Residents in southern Florida should begin preparing for potential impacts, including heavy rain and flooding.”

DeSantis urged residents to stock up with seven days of supplies.

Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez declared a state of emergency in his county and announced that all bridges along the Miami River will be locked down in anticipation of the storm, he told WSVN-TV on Sunday.

At least five South Florida school districts will also be closed on Monday.

“I will be meeting with my senior staff and emergency managers this evening to ensure that all necessary operations are underway,” Gimenez said in a statement. “For now, I urge residents to stay informed as to the storm’s track and potential impact.”

Eta is the 28th named Atlantic storm during the 2020 hurricane season, which is tied with the 2005 season for the most in the region, the Weather Channel reported on Sunday.

It is also the 12th storm this season to increase to hurricane strength, which is tied for the second-most ever.

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