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Tropical Storm Erika Heads For Hispaniola, With Florida Still In Its Sight

(This post was last updated at 12:30 p.m. ET.)

After dumping heavy rain on the tiny island of Dominica, Tropical Storm Erika is now forecast to continue its northwestern track, hit Hispaniola and eventually pose a threat to Florida.

By late morning, Florida Gov. Rick Scott declared a state of emergency.

The National Hurricane Center is forecasting that Erika could make landfall in South Florida on Monday morning as a tropical storm.

But forecasters warn that they don't have much confidence in that forecast, because they are unsure of how Erika will recover after passing through the mountainous terrain of Haiti and the Dominican Republic.

That said, here's a map of the NHC's 5 a.m. forecast:

So far, the NHC has issued tropical storm warnings for Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico and the Bahamas.

As CNN reports, in Dominica the big problem was rain. The floods and mudslides caused by the rain left at least four people dead and more than a dozen are missing.

CNN adds:

"Dominica's Prime Minister, Roosevelt Skerrit, said Erika caused 'extensive damage' across the small island after floods wiped out roads and swamped villages.

"He expressed particular concern for Petite Savanne, a community hit by mudslides that rescuers haven't been able to reach yet.

"'This is where many are feared lost,' Skerrit said."

We'll leave you with a more detailed explanation of the forecast, via NPR member station WLRN:

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Eyder Peralta is NPR's East Africa correspondent based in Nairobi, Kenya.
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