The United States should prepare for the “impacts of winds, heavy rains and storm surges” as Tropical Storm Isaias heads along its predicted track to the East Coast, the US National Hurricane Center warned Thursday.
The storm on Thursday afternoon hit Puerto Rico with sustained winds of up to 60 mph and was about 85 miles southeast of Puerto Plata in the Dominican Republic.
“There is a risk of impacts from winds, heavy rains and storm surges along parts of the US East Coast starting this weekend in Florida and spreading north to the Carolinas and in the southern mid-Atlantic states early next week, “the Hurricane Center said in an advisory, adding that” tropical storm or hurricane watches could be issued for parts of southern Florida later in the day.
TROPIC STORM ISAIAS STRIKING PUERTO RICO AS THE TRACK MOVES OVER THE EASTERN COAST OF FLORIDA
Isaias “will produce heavy rains and potentially fatal flash floods and landslides in Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, northern Haiti, the Turks and Caicos Islands and the Bahamas” while heading to the United States .
However, “due to Isaias’ interaction with Hispaniola (Haiti and Dominican Republic), the details of the trajectory and the intensity forecast remain uncertain and it is too early to determine the extent and location of these. potential impacts, ”the center added.
The storm so far has cut power to more than 400,000 customers in Puerto Rico and left around 150,000 customers without water, government officials say. Generalized flooding and a few small landslides were also reported there.
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In the Dominican Republic, Isaias toppled trees as officials in some poor neighborhoods used loudspeakers to urge people to evacuate before the worst of the storm hit. Police also arrested a handful of surfers in the capital of Santo Domingo on charges of violating government storm warnings.
Isaias was moving northwest at 20 mph Thursday afternoon. Its center is expected to move over Hispaniola later today and near the southeastern Bahamas by Friday morning.
Tropical storm warnings have been issued for the Turks and Caicos Islands, parts of the Dominican Republic, Haiti and the Bahamas.
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Isaias is expected to produce 4 to 8 inches of rain in Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and northern Haiti, with isolated maximum totals of 10 inches.
The Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands could see 4 to 8 inches of rain while Cuba could see 1 to 2 inches, with isolated maximum totals of 4 inches.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.