In the past week or two Florida has kept a close eye on the projected path of Tropical Storm Erika as it had slowly developed into a category one hurricane. It has been just over 10 years since Florida has been hit by a hurricane with any degree of severity, but judging by their reactions to news of the storm they have not forgotten how to be prepared for it. Evidence of this could be seen by walking into any local food store and seeing people quickly grab things off the shelves like bottled water, canned food, and of course, peanut butter. Places like various south Florida school systems and the Port of Palm Beach say although the storm has broken up it made for a very good test run.
The storm broke up over the Caribbean, but as the storm weakened so did the Caribbean island of Dominica. Triggering floods and mudslides it killed at least 20 people, left 31 people missing, and destroyed hundreds of homes. The Dominca Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit said, “The extent of the devastation is monumental”.
Haiti was also affected by the storm early Saturday. In Leogane, 4 people died and another 11 were hospitalized after a liquor truck crashed into a bus and exploded as a result of slick roads. Haitian authorities also evacuated 254 prisoners in Gonaives to other locations because of flooding. Two people were also killed in Port-au-Prince after their homes collapsed.
Although Erika is no longer a tropical storm or hurricane it still presents severe weather threats to Florida like flooding, tornados, and coastal flooding as a result of high tides. A flood watch is in effect in south Florida from 5am Sunday to 8am Monday.