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The Point, July 6, 2021: Florida's Gulf Coast Readies For Impact From Tropical Storm Elsa

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Elsa's arrival

• Florida Storms: Tropical Storm Elsa Approaches Florida, Hurricane Watch Issued. "Elsa is most likely to remain a tropical storm at landfall along Florida’s Nature Coast early Wednesday morning, but there is a small chance it could reach hurricane status."

• WSVN: Elsa’s feeder bands bring flooding and heavy rains, lead to power outages in Broward, Miami-Dade. "While South Florida has been spared a direct hit from Tropical Storm Elsa, the system’s feeder bands brought heavy rains and gusty winds to the region, resulting in flooded streets, power outages to thousands of residents and at least one airborne balcony chair."

• Tallahassee Democrat ($): Governor expands Tropical Storm Elsa state of emergency to cover North Florida counties. "Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis expanded a state of emergency to cover North Florida counties in Alachua, Columbia, Dixie, Franklin, Hamilton, Gilchrist, Jefferson, Lake, Lafayette, Madison, Marion, Sumter, Suwannee, Taylor and Wakulla."

• Citrus County Chronicle ($): Citrus County officials keep eye on TS Elsa; ready with emergency response. "As Tropical Storm Elsa pumped the brakes over the Caribbean on its trek toward Florida’s Gulf Coast, Citrus County remained 'poised and ready to pull the trigger' on its emergency response."

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The news from Surfside

• NPR News: Four More Bodies Found As Search Accelerates After Demolition Of Surfside Condo. "Four more bodies have been recovered from the ruins of the collapsed condo tower in Surfside, Fl., bringing the total death toll to 28. A total of 117 individuals remain unaccounted for, according to authorities leading the search and rescue operation."

• USA Today Network: 'It takes a tragedy': Florida's hands-off approach to condo regulations tested after Surfside. "Except for a brief window that lasted barely two years, the state has had no oversight of the condition of aging condominium buildings in nearly 60 years of condo construction in the Sunshine State. No post-construction inspection requirements. No enforcement measures to repair potentially life-threatening structural damage. No requirement to maintain a contingency fund for emergency repairs."

• Associated Press: Surfside Collapse Survivors Escaped With Their Lives, Little Else. "The disaster that killed at least 18 people, with more than 140 still missing, also rendered dozens of people homeless. Many lost cars, too, buried in the building’s underground parking garage."

• News4Jax: ‘They worked around the clock’: Gainesville firefighters return from Surfside. "Gainesville Fire Rescue’s eight Urban Search and Rescue specialists returned Sunday from South Florida. They’re specially trained to work with cranes, heavy machinery and detection equipment, but they’ll admit they’ve never seen anything like the monumental efforts at the site of the Champlain Towers South condominium building collapse."

• NPR News: Florida Judge Orders Surfside Condo Association Board Into Receivership. "Judge Michael Hanzman appointed Michael Goldberg to handle all of the condo association's financial matters while the court hears lawsuits related to the building's collapse. Five lawsuits have been filed so far, and more claims are expected in the coming months."

Today's other Florida stories

• WFSU: Florida's College And Universities Athletes Have Already Started Earning Money Through A New Law That Lets Them Profit From Their Name, Image or Likeness. "Athletes across the state have already begun jumping on the chance to earn money using their name, image and likeness. Florida State University Offensive Lineman Dillan Gibbons announced on Twitter Thursday he’s using the opportunity to earn money for a go fund me to help a fan with disabilities travel to FSU."

• WUFT News: Employees Adjust To Maintain Efficiency Despite Shorthanded Staffing Challenges. "Driving down Archer or Newberry roads in Gainesville, you’re guaranteed to spot a business hiring. Positions are unfilled in not just Alachua County, but all across the country, and employees are finding ways to make it work despite the shortages."

• WUFT News: Alachua County Didn’t Reach 70% Vaccination Goal By July 4 Holiday, But Optimism Remains. "Earlier this year, President Joe Biden set out a goal to have 70% of adult Americans vaccinated with at least one shot of a vaccine against COVID-19 by July 4. The White House acknowledged the U.S. would fall short of the goal."

From NPR News

• Health: Understanding Conflicting Mask Recommendations Amid Delta Variant

• Health: Demand For Vaccines Are Dropping — So Local Doctors Are Working To Convince Patients

• Health: Rural Ambulance Services At Risk As Volunteers Age And Expenses Mount

• Business: Hospitals Have Started Posting Their Prices Online. Here's What They Reveal

• Business: Business Should Be Booming — If Only There Were Enough Workers For The Job

• Business: The Food Industry May Be Finally Paying Attention To Its Weakness To Cyberattacks

• Business: Jeff Bezos Built Amazon 27 Years Ago. He Now Steps Down As CEO At Critical Time

• Politics: Where The Investigation Stands Into The Jan. 6 Insurrection

About today's curator

I'm Ethan Magoc, a news editor at WUFT. Originally from Pennsylvania, I've found a home telling Florida stories. I’m part of a team searching each morning for local and state stories that are important to you; please send feedback about today's edition or ideas for stories we may have missed to

Contact WUFT News by calling 352-392-6397 or emailing news