A weakened but resilient Tropical Storm Elsa has killed at least one person in Florida and injured several others when a possible tornado struck a campground at a naval base in southeast Georgia.
The National Hurricane Center said Elsa still packed 72km/h winds more than six hours after making landfall along Florida's northern Gulf Coast. The storm's centre was near Valdosta, Georgia, late on Wednesday afternoon.
Elsa seemed to spare Florida from significant damage, though it still threatened flooding downpours and caused several tornado warnings. The coasts of Georgia and South Carolina were under a tropical storm warning. Forecasters predicted Elsa would remain a tropical storm into Friday, and issued a tropical storm watch from North Carolina to Massachusetts.
Authorities in Jacksonville, Florida, said one person was killed on Wednesday when a tree fell and struck two cars. The National Weather Service reported 80km/h gusts in the city. The tree fell during heavy rain. No one else was injured.
In nearby Camden County, Georgia, a possible tornado struck a park for recreational vehicles at Kings Bay Naval Submarine Base. About 10 people were injured and taken to hospital. The extent of their injuries was not immediately clear.
The hurricane centre said parts of Florida could see up to 20 centimetres of rain from the storm. There was also a risk of flooding in Georgia and South Carolina. Tornado watches were in effect in parts of northern Florida and southeast Georgia.
The storm complicated the search for potential survivors and victims in the collapse of a Miami-area condominium on June 24. The search for survivors has now been called off.
Elsa is the earliest fifth-named storm on record, said Brian McNoldy, a hurricane researcher at the University of Miami.
Australian Associated Press