Heavy rains accompanying Tropical Storm Erika on the Caribbean island of Dominica have caused the deaths of four people.
Among these were a blind man and two children who died after a mudslide in the southeast of the island. Another man was found dead near his home in the capital of Roseau. The cause of the death has not been made clear, according to Police Superintendent Daniel Carbon.
As reported by Bay News 9, there was no water supply and about 80 percent of the island was plunged into power outage. The airport was closed due to flooding. The heavy rains caused trees and lightpoles to fell.
Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit took to social media to announce that several people had gone missing after severe floods struck the island. “Our primary concern at the moment is for the preservation of life in Dominica,” he wrote. “We are now going to be focused on a search-and-rescue mission. We will focus on infrastructure after.”
The Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency said that 25 to 30 people had gone missing as a result of the extreme weather, as reported by CNN. Erika was expected to bring 4 to 8 inches of rainfall across parts of the Leeward Islands (which include Dominica), the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, the Turks and Caicos Islands, and the southeast Bahamas through Saturday. The weather service in the island of Antigua said that, by early Thursday, Dominica had received in excess of 15 inches of rainfall.
The storm is expected to make landfall on the east coast of Florida by Monday and Tuesday. However, the forecast remains unclear for the next three to five days.
The next few days will see Erika having some strong wind shear aloft, according to News 13 Orlando. It is expected to strengthen over the Bahamas if it doesn’t abate the wind shear, and contact with Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. The water temperature near the Bahamas is comparatively lower, and the wind shear between Florida and the Turks and Caicos is lower.
Natalie John, resident of St. Kitts, posted a picture on Twitter that showed water flooding the street and the yards. Forecasters expect the storm to strengthen by the end of the week. The maximum sustained winds will reach 75 miles per hour as it will make way for South Florida by Monday.
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