Chantal Bears Down on the Dominican Republic and Haiti, One Killed
Tropical Storm Chantal battered the Dominican Republic and Haiti on Wednesday after intensifying over several days. The storm flooded streets and flung roofs from homes, killing one before weakening drastically. After skimming the edge of the island, Chantal lost power, reducing to a tropical wave. However, the storm continues to soak local regions with heavy rains and flooding.
Damage in the Dominican Republic and Haiti
According to reports, many residents of the Dominican Republic and Haiti chose to ride out the harsh weather despite orders from authorities to leave the area. These inhabitants prepared their homes with tarps and other equipment to prevent flooding and damage from Tropical Storm Chantal. As some locals hunkered down in their shelters, 6,500 Dominicans and Haitians were evacuated from the coasts.
However, others were not so lucky. Chantal has reportedly been the cause of death for firefighter, Juan Ramon Rodriguez. In Maimon, Dominican Republic, Rodriguez was pulled away in the current of floodwaters during an attempt to unblock a storm drain.
Administration at the Emergency Operations Center of the island continue to warn locals that they are “not in the clear yet.” 15 homes have already been destroyed by Chantals powerful winds which tore of roofs of homes in the Dominican Republic. In Puerto Rico, approximately 7,000 residents face power outages, and 2,500 are without water.
Although Chantal has already drifted towards Jamaica and the east side of Cuba as a tropical wave, nearby regions will continue to face severe thunderstorms and rainfall. Chantal could drench the Dominican Republic and Haiti with as much as 8 inches of rain over the next few days. This could largely affect underprivileged persons in Haiti living in poorly constructed homes which may give way in serious flooding.
Meteorologists expect Chantal to move on as a tropical wave to Hispaniola, and tip-toe towards Florida. Experts warn of deadly landslides in Hispaniola, as well as storms and rainfall for all areas in Chantal’s path. Forecasts indicate that Chantal should progressively weaken before reaching Florida, bringing mild remnants of humidity and low amounts of rain.