Sunday, September 19, 2004

DR: Jeanne takes lives in the Dominican Republic

SAN PEDRO DE MACORIS, Dominican Republic (AP) -- Tropical Storm Jeanne battered the Dominican Republic before heading to the Bahamas where the tempest, which has killed at least nine people, began to churn seas and stir deadly storm surges on Saturday.

Jeanne lost strength as it drove thousands of Dominicans from their homes Friday. But a few hours after being downgraded to a tropical depression, it strengthened again into a tropical storm with lashing winds.

Forecasters said it was too soon to predict if the storm would hit the United States. But Brian Jarvinen at the National Hurricane Center in Miami said he couldn't rule out the possibility that it might strike Florida, which has been struck by three hurricanes since mid-August.

The storm stalled over the Dominican Republic after coming ashore Thursday as a hurricane, with winds near 80 mph. It raged through Puerto Rico on Wednesday, dumping up to two feet of rain, flooding hundreds of homes and downing power lines.

Jeanne became better organized as it moved over the sparsely populated outer islands of the southeast Bahamas Saturday morning.
I know part of the hurricane rhyme goes "August, about just. September, remember; October, all over," but the Caribbean and Florida can't have October come too soon.

This has been a rough hurricane season, for Floridians, especially. Every bad wind coming off of the Atlantic seems to have Florida's name written on it. God give them, and those currently afflicted by all these hurricanes, the ability to endure and build again.

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