Hurricane Eta finally goes to sea from Florida as a tropical storm, after 10 days of death and destruction

Hurricane Eta
(Image credit: Screenshot/Screenshot/CNN)

Tropical Storm Eta made what's expected to be its final exit from land Thursday, swirling off over the Atlantic at the Florida-Georgia border after spreading death and destruction over a meandering 10-day journey from Nicaragua and Honduras. It was still lashing the Carolinas with 45 mph winds and heavy rain Thursday night and early Friday, triggering flash flooding, road closures, and at least one collapsed bridge in South Carolina, National Weather Service meteorologist Sandy La Course told The Associated Press. "It's unfortunately been a tough day for the Carolinas today," she said.

Eta made landfall near Cedar Key, Florida, earlier Thursday, dousing Tampa as it crawled across the state. One man died from electrocution in Bradenton Beach after stepping into his flooded garage to lay sandbags. This was Eta's second foray in the state, after brushing across the Florida Keys on Sunday.

But most of the destruction was in Nicaragua, Honduras, and Guatemala. Eta hit Nicaragua and Honduras on Nov. 3 as a massive Category 4 hurricane, and affected at least 3.6 million Central Americans before it crossed over into the Caribbean off Mexico. At least 120 people died, and the rains buried towns in landslides, washed out bridges, and destroyed homes. Many more people are still missing and presumed dead. CNN showed some of the destruction, plus Eta's bizarre and winding path, on Thursday.

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Eta was the 28th named storm of a record Atlantic hurricane season. Tropical Storm Theta is currently whirling through the mid-Atlantic, and there are concerns a storm to be named Iota could form and hit northern Honduras, right where Eta did the most damage.

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