Haiti and Dominican Republic Prepare for Tropical Storm Franklin While Texas Awaits Harold’s Arrival
Tropical Storm Franklin menaces Haiti and the Dominican Republic, with both nations bracing for heavy rainfall and potential landslides. At the same time, a newly formed Tropical Storm Harold moves towards the Texas coast, sparking concerns over flash flooding and life-threatening surf conditions. As the Atlantic hurricane season continues to be active, the storms underscore the urgency of emergency preparations in vulnerable regions.
Haiti and Dominican Republic on Alert The Caribbean nations of Haiti and the Dominican Republic are grappling with the imminent threat of Tropical Storm Franklin. Positioned 255 miles south of Santo Domingo early Tuesday, the storm, with its sustained winds of 50 mph, is set to hit Hispaniola by Wednesday. Forecasts predict up to 10 inches of rain across the countries, but isolated regions could experience up to 15 inches.
This comes as a stark reminder of Haiti’s susceptibility to extreme weather events. Severe erosion coupled with deforestation exacerbates the nation’s vulnerability to heavy rainfalls. A mere thunderstorm in June claimed more than 40 lives. Phil Klotzbach, a Colorado State University meteorologist, highlighted the risks, stating, “The mudslide risk there is just awful.” Notably, the slow movement of Franklin heightens the risks, especially in deforested areas of Haiti.
Yet, a lack of information is apparent among the locals. Many in Port-au-Prince confessed to being unaware of the approaching storm, even with official warnings circulating on social media platforms. For many like Marie Christine Bonjour, a vendor, faith remains the sole beacon. “God is the only plan. He’ll look over me and my kids,” she remarked. The socio-political situation adds to the concern, with over 200,000 people already displaced due to gang conflicts.
Tropical Storm Harold Targets Texas Simultaneously, the Gulf of Mexico witnesses the strengthening of another weather system, Tropical Storm Harold. It’s set to reach the southern coast of Texas, boasting winds of 45 mph. Residents between the Rio Grande mouth and Port O’Connor have been alerted to expect tropical storm conditions within the next 12 hours. The National Hurricane Center’s predictions indicate potential flash flooding and treacherous surf conditions.
Adding to concerns, the National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) recently flagged this year’s hurricane season as “above normal.” Forecasts include 14 to 21 named storms, with up to 11 evolving into hurricanes. Alarmingly, five of these could escalate into major hurricanes.
The Atlantic hurricane season spans from June 1 to November 30, with areas from the Caribbean to the US mainland at risk.
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