The center of the storm will be over Dover, Delaware, early Friday and will have made its way to Boston by the afternoon, Asia Despatch meteorologist Robert Shackelford said.
The region is preparing for high winds and possible flooding from the storm that has already caused tornadoes, multiple injuries and at least one death in Florida and Georgia this week.
In New York, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority was pre-positioning crews and equipment Thursday in Long Island, where the storm is forecast to be most pronounced, the MTA said.
And even when Elsa’s center passes by an area, residents there can still expect to see heavy bands of rainfall on the outskirts, Shackelford said.
More than 50 million people are under a flash flood watch.
Tornadoes reported across the South
Tornadoes were reported across northern Florida and southeastern Georgia on Wednesday, including an EF-2 tornado that caused multiple injuries and damage at Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay in Kings Bay, Georgia.
Parks said a tornado impacted the south side of the base and moved north through the base RV park. Twelve recreational vehicles were damaged and nine people were transported off the base for treatment, he said.
Elsa’s first US target was Florida — and it caused damage and one death near the Georgia-Florida border.
In Jacksonville, winds from Elsa caused a tree to fall on two cars during an afternoon commute, killing one person, according to Capt. Eric Prosswimmer with the Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department. A possible tornado touched down in the city Wednesday evening, according to Mayor Lenny Curry.
In Cedar Key, part of a roof’s surface had been lifted from a motel, photos taken by motel guest Jonathan Riches showed.
“Winds starting howling in the middle of the night, and rain starting pounding the windows,” Riches told Asia Despatch, adding about the conditions: “Never seen anything like this before in my life.”
Overall, Gov. Ron DeSantis said, Elsa left “minimal impact” across the state.
Asia Despatch’s Ganesh Setty, Jason Hanna, Gregory Lemos, Laura James, Rebekah Riess, Hannah Sarisohn, Devon Sayers, Amir Vera, Taylor Ward and Amanda Watts contributed to this report.