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TS Isaac threatens Hispaniola

Storm generated rain to dump 8-12 inches over Hispaniola

MIAMI | August 24, 2012

Tropical Storm Isaac is a threat to deliver heavy rains and flooding to Hispaniola Friday, forecasters in Miami said.

In its 8 a.m. EDT Thursday advisory, the National Hurricane Center said the storm, with sustained top winds of 50 mph, was 175 miles south-southwest of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, as it traveled west at 15 mph toward the coast of Hispaniola, the island shared by the Dominican Republic and Haiti.

A tropical storm warning and a hurricane watch were in effect for Haiti. A tropical storm warning was posted for the Dominican Republic, the Cuban provinces of Camaguey, Las Tunas, Granma, Holguin, Santiago de Cuba and Guantanamo; southeastern Bahamas, including the Acklins, Crooked Island, Long Cay, the Inaguas, Mayaguana and the Ragged Islands, Turks and Caicos Islands.

A tropical storm watch was posted for the Cuban provinces of Ciego de Avila, Sancti Spiritus and Villa Clara, as well as Andros Island and the central Bahamas.

Isaac was forecast to follow its current motion before changing to a west-northwest motion at a slightly lower forward speed through Saturday. On its forecast track, it is expected to strengthen and to be at or near Hispaniola Friday before moving near or over southeastern Cuba Saturday.

Tropical storm-force winds extended outward from Isaac's center 185 miles.

The storm could generate rainfall accumulations of 8-to-12 inches over Hispaniola, with as much as 20 inches in some places -- possibly causing life-threatening flash floods and mud slides.

A storm surge is expected to raise water levels as much as 2-to-4 feet above normal tide levels and the surge will be accompanied by dangerous waves in some areas.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency in Washington said it was monitoring Isaac and -- along with its federal partners through its Regional Headquarters in Atlanta and its Caribbean Area Office -- was in "close coordination with Puerto Rico Emergency Management Agency, Virgin Islands Territorial Emergency Management Agency and the Florida Division of Emergency Management."

FEMA said it has "deployed Incident Management Assistance Teams to Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands to coordinate with local officials and to support emergency managers should additional support be requested, or needed."

"Additionally, FEMA has liaisons in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands emergency operations centers, to further strengthen coordination," the agency said in a statement.

"At this time, it is still too early to know whether the storm could pose an immediate threat to the U.S. Coast," the statement said. "History shows that storm tracks can change quickly and unexpectedly, so FEMA encourages coastal residents to monitor weather conditions, follow the direction of local officials, and visit Ready.gov to learn about a few simple steps they can take now to be prepared."

2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved

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