Tags: tropical storm | hurricane | erika | caribbean | florida

Florida Gov. Scott Declares State of Emergency as Erika Nears

Image: Florida Gov. Scott Declares State of Emergency as Erika Nears
A tropical storm hitting the Dominican Republic. Tropical storm Erika is moving across the Caribbean on Friday, and may strengthen before striking Florida. (AFP via Getty Images)

Friday, 28 Aug 2015 06:32 AM

Florida Gov. Rick Scott declared a state of emergency on Friday in preparation for the arrival of Tropical Storm Erika as it made a soggy path through the Caribbean toward the southeastern United States.

Scott, in announcing his decision, cited a five-day forecast by the U.S. National Hurricane Center that predicted the storm will travel "up the spine of Florida" from Sunday into next week.

Erika, the fifth named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season, was expected to take a turn toward the northwest later on Friday after soaking the Dominican Republic, and may reach hurricane status as it nears Florida's east coast by Monday morning.

Forecasts indicate that it has the potential to become the first hurricane to hit the Sunshine State since Wilma in October 2005

The storm was lashing Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands with heavy rain and fierce winds on Friday, moving across the Caribbean and seemingly heading for the Bahamas, the Hurricane Center said.

Twelve inches (30 cm) of rain was expected in some areas and "could cause life-threatening flash floods and mud slides," the Miami-based government forecaster said.

Several people were still missing after rain-triggered landslides on the small, mountainous island of Dominica on Thursday, country officials said.

The storm could produce between 4 to 8 inches of rain — and as much as 12 inches in some places — across portions of the Leeward Islands, the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Turks and Caicos, and the Bahamas.

The rain was accompanied by sustained winds of about 50 miles per hour (85 km per hour), the hurricane center said.

Overflowing rivers and landslides washed away several roads and bridges on Dominica on Thursday, Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit said on social media.

Dominica's tourism minister, Robert Tonge, posted photographs and video on Facebook showing widespread flooding in the capital and urged everyone to stay inside.

© 2017 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

 
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Florida Gov. Rick Scott declared a state of emergency on Friday in preparation for the arrival of Tropical Storm Erika as it made a soggy path through the Caribbean toward the southeastern United States.
tropical storm, hurricane, erika, caribbean, florida
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2015-32-28
Friday, 28 Aug 2015 06:32 AM
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