Tropical Storm Erika expected to strengthen

27 Aug 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

4 killed in Dominica as Tropical Storm Erika hits island.

The police report that three of the deaths occurred during a mudslide in the southeastern end of the island where they recovered the bodies of an elderly visually impaired man and two children from a house.ROSEAU, Dominica — Tropical Storm Erika pounded the eastern Caribbean island of Dominica on Thursday, unleashing flooding and mudslides that killed at least four people and knocked out power and water supplies. The storm, which was forecast to reach Florida as a hurricane by Monday, dumped 9 inches (23 centimeters) of rain on Dominica late Wednesday, followed by another 6 inches (15 centimeters) early Thursday, according to the weather service in the nearby island of Antigua. On the forecast track, the centre of Erika will move near the Virgin Islands on Thursda afternoon, move near or over Puerto Rico in the night , and move near or over the Dominican Republic on Friday.

He urged everyone to “please stay inside.” While the forecasters can be reasonably certain of Erika’s path using computer models, give or take a couple of hundred miles, its intensity is harder to predict and it could fall apart as it passes over land and battles hostile winds. Erika, the fifth named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season, was about 125 miles west of Guadalupe with maximum sustained winds of 50 miles per hour as of midday on Thursday.

Even though the eye had passed, heavy wind and rain were still buffeting the island known for its lush forests and steep terrain, and authorities had yet to do a full damage assessment. The main airport was closed due to flooding, with water rushing over cars and at least one small plane, and the scaffolding of some buildings collapsed. The main river that cuts through the capital overflowed its banks and surging water crashed into the principal bridge that leads into Roseau, whose roads were littered with fallen trees and light poles. Forecasters warn that quieter-than-average years in the past have been marked by some of the most destructive storms in history, such as Hurricane Andrew in 1992, which devastated south Florida.

This year’s weaker hurricane season is partly attributed to the El Niño weather phenomenon, the warming of Pacific waters that affects wind patterns and makes hurricanes less likely in the Atlantic-Caribbean basin. And even if Erika is a weak system, that could be very bad there.” Officials shuttered schools, government offices and businesses across the region and warned of flash flooding because of dry conditions caused by the worst drought to hit the Caribbean in recent years. Hurricane Ignacio was centered about 1,135 miles (1,825 kilometers) east-southeast of Hilo, Hawaii, and was moving west-northwest near 13 mph (20 kph).

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