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4 dead as Tropical Storm Erika batters Caribbean islands

Tropical Storm Erika killed four people on the Caribbean island of Dominica as the storm brought heavy rain, calamitous flooding and landslides to the tiny island nation overnight. The storm is moving west at 16 mph.Tropical storm watches have been posted for eastern portions of the Bahamas and the Dominican Republic, and tropical storm warnings are in place for Puerto Rico and some of the northern Leeward Islands.The latest forecast track shows Erika heading toward the U.S.

Tropical Storm Erika killed four people on the Caribbean island of Dominica as the storm brought heavy rain, calamitous flooding and landslides to the tiny island nation overnight. The storm is continuing to track toward Puerto Rico and could potentially impact the USA's East Coast by early next week.

Photos and videos on social media showed floodwaters inundating streets and causing buildings to collapse in Dominica, where up to 15 inches of rain fell between late Wednesday and early Thursday, the Antigua Weather Service said.

At least 20 homes in the tiny eastern Caribbean island were destroyed, the Associated Press said.

"The situation is grim. It is dangerous," Ian Pinard, Dominica's communications minister, told the AP.

About 80% of the island was without electricity and the water supply was cut off, the AP said. The main airport was closed because of the flooding.

"Erika is expected to produce total rainfall accumulations of 4 to 8 inches with maximum amounts of 12 inches possible across portions of the Leeward Islands, the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, the Turks and Caicos Islands, and the southeast Bahamas through Saturday," the National Hurricane Center said in an online bulletin.

As of 2 p.m. ET, the storm center was located 160 miles west of Guadeloupe and had winds of 45 mph, the center reported. The storm is moving west at 16 mph.

Tropical storm watches have been posted for eastern portions of the Bahamas and the Dominican Republic, and tropical storm warnings are in place for Puerto Rico and some of the northern Leeward Islands.

The latest forecast track shows Erika heading toward the U.S. by Monday and Tuesday, potentially hitting somewhere along the East Coast from Florida to the Carolinas as a hurricane.

However, the hurricane center warned that "potential impacts for the Bahamas and beyond are unusually uncertain."

Meanwhile, in the eastern Pacific Ocean, Hurricane Ignacio has winds of 90 mph and is located 1,135 miles east-southeast of Hilo, Hawaii, and is moving west-northwest at 13 mph.

It's predicted to approach the Hawaiian Islands by late Sunday and Monday.

USA Today
27/08
2 Points
1

Tropical Storm Erika forms in Atlantic

One shows it dissipating, the other shows it spinning up into a Category 4 monster near the South Carolina coast by next week (see tweet below)."All interests in the northeast Caribbean, Bahamas, Florida and the Southeast United States should closely monitor the progression of this system," AccuWeather meteorologist Dan Kottlowski said.Erika is the fifth-named tropical system of the 2015 Atlantic hurricane season.

Tropical Storm Erika formed overnight in the Atlantic Ocean, the National Hurricane Center said.

As of 11 a.m. ET, the storm had winds of 45 mph and was located 730 miles east of the Caribbean's Leeward Islands. It's moving to the west at 20 mph.

Tropical storm watches have been posted for several islands in the Caribbean, including Montserrat, Antigua, Barbuda, Guadeloupe and St. Kitts and Nevis. A tropical storm watch means that tropical storm conditions are possible within the watch area, generally within 48 hours, the hurricane center said.

Erika would deliver needed rainfall to these islands, many of which are in a drought, AccuWeather said.

Though the exact track of Erika remains uncertain, the storm is forecast to move across the Caribbean, then become a Category 1 hurricane by the weekend as it spins near the Bahamas.

Two of the top computer models meteorologists use to forecast weather show vastly different predictions for Erika. One shows it dissipating, the other shows it spinning up into a Category 4 monster near the South Carolina coast by next week (see tweet below).

"All interests in the northeast Caribbean, Bahamas, Florida and the Southeast United States should closely monitor the progression of this system," AccuWeather meteorologist Dan Kottlowski said.

Erika is the fifth-named tropical system of the 2015 Atlantic hurricane season. Only one of the storms, Danny, became a hurricane. Danny dissipated over the islands of the Caribbean on Monday, due to an influx of dry air and strong upper-level winds that tore the storm apart.

USA Today
25/08
6 Points

Orlando Bloom back for next 'Pirates of the Caribbean'

Contact him at Facebook.com/BayAreaNewsGroup.TonyHicks or Twitter.com/tonyhicks67. This time around, Depp's Captain Jack Sparrow is going after Poseidon's trident, according to IMDB.com. The movie is set for a summer 2017 release, according to the New York Daily News.Tony Hicks writes celebrity commentary for the Bay Area News Group.

Orlando Bloom will return for the next "Pirates of the Caribbean" film.

I have a feeling there's a mutual-need thing going on here.

Disney said last weekend at its D23 convention in Anaheim that the 38-year-old, who played blacksmith-turned-pirate Will Turner in the franchise's first three movies, will be back for the fifth film,"Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales." He missed out 2011's "On Stranger Tides."

He was probably busy getting jammed into seven or eight Peter Jackson movies he wasn't supposed to be in.

Johnny Depp, of course, will return, as will Geoffrey Rush. This time around, Depp's Captain Jack Sparrow is going after Poseidon's trident, according to IMDB.com.

The movie is set for a summer 2017 release, according to the New York Daily News.

Tony Hicks writes celebrity commentary for the Bay Area News Group. Contact him at Facebook.com/BayAreaNewsGroup.TonyHicks or Twitter.com/tonyhicks67

San Jose Mercury News
18/08
2 Points
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