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TS Isaac drenches Haiti

Florida declares state of emergency ahead of Isaac

MIAMI | August 25, 2012

Florida Gov. Rick Scott declared a state of emergency Saturday as Tropical Storm Isaac approached the state.

The storm is expected to become a hurricane by the time it reaches the Florida Keys late Sunday, the National Hurricane Center in Miami said. Scott, who visited the Broward County Emergency Operations Center, said the path "is not positive for our state," The Miami Herald reported.

In Haiti, Isaac brought heavy rain and flooding in Port-au-Prince, the capital, and other towns. While the island, with its steep easily eroded hillsides suffered less than from previous storms, at least one death was reported, a 10-year-old girl killed by a collapsing wall in Thomazeau.

Many houses in the Cite de Soleil neighborhood in Port-au-Prince were underwater.

"I wasn't able to save anything; everything's gone," Mrs. Marc Henri-Louis told the Herald.

In South Florida, tourists were encouraged to leave the Keys and emergency shelters were set up. Local officials in Miami-Dade and Broward counties ordered schools to be closed Monday.

Organizers of the Republican National Convention, scheduled to begin Monday in Tampa, have been keeping an eye on Isaac for days.

Rain was expected to begin in earnest in the Tampa area Sunday and winds would top 20 miles per hour early in the week, the National Weather Service said.

The Hurricane Center in Miami reported at 2 p.m. EDT that Issac was moving northwest at 17 miles per hour. Maximum sustained winds were clocked at 60 miles per hour.

The storm was expected to pass over central Cuba late Saturday. NHC forecasters warned of heavy rain and dangerous surf in many other islands, including the Bahamas and Jamaica.

Although not yet a hurricane, Issac's approach prompted hurricane warnings for the Florida Keys and the southern top of west Florida.

NASA said in a written statement the storm forced postponement of the launch of a scientific space probe at Cape Canaveral to Aug. 30, and Vice President Joe Biden earlier scrubbed his planned campaign trip to Tampa.

2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved

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