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.