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Saturday, August 29, 2015

Hurricane Erika Headed toward The Coast of Florida

The physical damage to Dominica is worse than first thought and the emotional toll from Tropical Storm Erika, which killed at least 20 people on the tiny Caribbean island, is substantial, the nation's Prime Minister said Friday night.

"Rest assured, my brothers and sisters, you are not alone in your period of mourning in your period of pain, in your period of suffering and anxiety," Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit told the nation. "We are in this together and help is coming your way."
The storm has passed and was assaulting the Dominican Republic and Haiti on Friday night. It left behind swamped villages, eroded away roads and washed-away homes.
Some people were still missing, Skerrit said.
The Prime Minister, who was in Saint Lucia when the storm first hit, deflected criticism that the government didn't issue proper warnings to its 70,000 citizens.
"There is no need to indulge in blaming others for what has happened in Dominica," he told the nation. He said forecasters had been focused on the larger islands in the Caribbean and Florida.
Dominica was deluged by 12 inches of rain in fewer than 10 hours, CNN meteorologist Chad Myers said.
Trisha Scotland said the storm damage is the worst she's seen in her lifetime.
Scotland walked 6 miles from her home in Jimmit to the capital, Roseau, to check on her mother's business, photographing the devastation along the way.
"I've experienced at least six to seven hurricanes. I'm not even counting the storms. I'm not even counting the depressions," Scotland said.

The state of Florida has declared a state of emergency as of Friday morning, in anticipation of the arrival of Tropical Storm Erika and its potentially hazardous impacts.
A tropical storm landfall or close encounter now appears very likely for south Florida and much of the state may well be affected by the storm’s rainfall.
In the Miami area, tropical storm force winds could begin by early Sunday afternoon and last through late Monday morning.
Even though it’s a long shot that Erika becomes a hurricane prior to landfall, a tropical storm is quite capable of causing flash floods and power outages, as well as coastal erosion and flooding, and the winds can throw around unsecured loose objects.
Tropical storm warnings cover Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, and much of the Bahamas.  A tropical storm watch is in effect for the western Bahamas and south Florida should be added later today.