South Florida

Erika's Remnants Dissipate in South Florida; Newly Formed Hurricane Fred Expected to Weaken

As Erika dissipates across South Florida, forecasters have removed the threat for flooding rain in the area. Meanwhile, newly formed Hurricane Fred is also predicted to weaken beginning on Tuesday.

A few showers lingered Monday morning, giving way to much brighter skies by midday. Deep moisture moved across South Florida over the weekend, bringing locally heavy rains Sunday. A flood watch was in effect for South Florida until early Monday.

The official forecast track reduced Erika to a tropical depression for South Florida.

Erika was losing its punch, apparently dissipating even as it drenched Haiti and the Dominican Republic early Saturday. But it left devastation in its path, killing at least 20 people and leaving another 31 missing on the small eastern Caribbean island of Dominica, authorities said.

Hurricane Season Supplies List

Another four people died in Haiti in a traffic accident that apparently occurred in the rain.

Dominica Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit said in a televised address late Friday that damage inflicted by the storm set the island back 20 years. Some 15 inches (38 centimeters) of rain fell on the mountainous island.

At least 31 people have been reported missing, according to officials with the Barbados-based Caribbean Disaster Emergency Response Agency. 

The island's airports remained closed, and some communities remained isolated by flooding and landslides.

Erika still carried enough force to knock out power to more than 200,000 people in Puerto Rico and cause more than $16 million in damage to crops there, including plantains, bananas and coffee.

In Haiti, authorities evacuated 254 prisoners in Gonaives to other locations because of flooding, and two people were hospitalized after their home in Port-au-Prince collapsed in heavy rains.

Four people died and another 11 were hospitalized in Leogane, just west of the Haitian capital, when a truck carrying a liquor known locally as clairin crashed into a bus and exploded. Authorities said it apparently was raining when the accident occurred.

Mudslides were blocking some roads north of Port-au-Prince, according to reports.

Meanwhile, Fred has strengthened to a hurricane, spreading wind and heavy rain across the Cape Verde Islands in the Atlantic Ocean.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami says Fred's maximum sustained winds Monday morning are near 85 mph (137 kph). Gradual weakening is forecast to begin Tuesday.

Hurricane Fred is centered about 55 miles (89 kilometers) west of Rabil in the Cape Verde Islands and is moving northwest near 12 mph (19 kph).

A hurricane warning is in effect for the islands.

Meanwhile in the Pacific, Hurricane Jimena is moving quickly over open water. The Category 4 storm has maximum sustained winds near 150 mph (240 kph).

Jimena is centered about 1,330 miles (2140 kilometers) east of Hilo, Hawaii, and is moving west near 16 mph (26 kph). The hurricane doesn't currently pose a threat to land.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
Contact Us