Tags: Jeanne | Heads | for | Bahamas | After | Killing

Jeanne Heads for Bahamas After Killing 3

Friday, 17 September 2004 12:00 AM

It could then move toward the United States, anywhere from Florida to the Carolinas.

``People need to monitor it very carefully,'' said Max Mayfield, director of the National Hurricane Center in Miami.

Jeanne brewed in the Caribbean the same day Hurricane Ivan slammed into the U.S. Gulf Coast, killing at least 23 people in addition to 70 dead across the Caribbean.

Jeanne's heavy rains soaked the Dominican capital of Santo Domingo, where a 4-month-old died when a landslide crushed part of her family's house, said Jose Luis German, spokesman for the country's National Emergency Committee.

At least eight people were injured as trees toppled and floods struck parts of the east and northeast, officials said. Crashing waves pounded the north coast and winds battered trees.

Telephone service and electricity were out. Some flights were canceled.

``We're all afraid,'' said Julie Acosta, 17, helping her father tie down their tin roof with rope as winds and rain strengthened around Samana, a coastal town popular with European tourists about 60 miles northeast of Santo Domingo.

More than 8,200 Dominicans were evacuated and took refuge in shelters set up in schools and churches, officials said.

``I had to come here because at night this becomes scary,'' said Mario Vasquez, a 40-year-old farmer crowded with 150 people into a school in blacked-out Samana. ``People could die out here.''

Beachside hotels and restaurants closed along the north coast, while authorities ordered boats into port.

Jeanne hit the Dominican Republic with winds of near 80 mph. It was at 70 mph, just 4 mph shy of a hurricane, when it raged across Puerto Rico on Wednesday, dumping up to two feet of rain on the U.S. territory, flooding hundreds of homes, snapping trees and downing power lines.

``It left a wake of destruction that we now have to face,'' Puerto Rican Gov. Sila Calderon said Thursday. She asked President Bush to declare a disaster to speed the release of federal aid.

In the U.S. Virgin Islands, debris littered streets and some residents shoveled mud from homes. Two prisoners escaped from a St. Croix jail during the storm, though it was unclear how, police said.

Heavy rains continued to soak parts of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, threatening flash floods and mudslides. Landslides have caused a large amount of damage to the exotic vegetation in the Caribbean National Forest, a rain forest known as ``El Yunque,'' supervisor Pabo Cruz said.

About 3,600 Puerto Ricans remained in shelters Thursday, dozens of roads were blocked, most of the 4 million islanders were without power and some 600,000 without running water for a second day, Calderon said.

One Puerto Rican woman was killed Wednesday when winds flung her from a hammock and smashed her into a neighbor's house, and a man putting up storm shutters died when he fell from a roof, police said.

At 5 a.m., Jeanne's eye was about 70 miles north of Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic. The storm was drifting, with storm-force winds stretching out 70 miles, and expected to remain near the Dominican coast through Friday. A slow west-northwest turn was expected in 12-24 hours.

A hurricane warning was posted for the southeastern Bahamas and the British Turks and Caicos Islands, and a watch for the central Bahamas - an area still recovering from Hurricane Frances. Haiti's north coast was under a storm warning.

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It could then move toward the United States, anywhere from Florida to the Carolinas. ``People need to monitor it very carefully,'' said Max Mayfield, director of the National Hurricane Center in Miami. Jeanne brewed in the Caribbean the same day Hurricane Ivan slammed...
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2004-00-17
Friday, 17 September 2004 12:00 AM
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