BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Saturday August 29, 2015 – Erika has degenerated to a trough of low pressure off Cuba, but forecasters say it will still bring heavy rains that could cause life-threatening flash floods and mudslides.
Interests in the Bahamas, eastern and central Cuba, and southern Florida have therefore been advised to continue monitoring the progress of Erika’s remnants, although all coastal watches and warnings have been discontinued.
Erika succumbed to a hostile environment in the Caribbean Sea near eastern Cuba this morning.
In the National Hurricane Centre’s (NHC) final advisory on Erika at 9:30 a.m., the trough of low pressure was located about 130 miles east of Camaguey, Cuba and 260 miles south southeast of Nassau, the Bahamas, and maximum winds were 35 miles per hour.
It is expected to move near the coast of eastern and central Cuba today and tonight and into the southeastern Gulf of Mexico tomorrow.
“The remnants of Erika are expected to produce total rainfall accumulations of 3 to 6 inches with maximum amounts of 10 inches possible across portions of the Dominican Republic, Haiti and eastern and central Cuba through Sunday. These rains could cause life-threatening flashfloods and mud slides. In addition, rainfall amounts of 1 to 3 inches are expected across the Turks and Caicos Islands as well as the southeastern and central Bahamas through Sunday. Rainfall amounts of 3 to 5 inches, with locally heavier amounts, are possible across southern and central Florida beginning on Sunday,” the NHC said.
Tropical Storm Erika, the fifth named storm of the June 1 to November 30 hurricane season, caused the death of at least 20 people when it passed Dominica earlier this week, causing massive flooding and destruction.
Authorities in the Caribbean island are still trying to find dozens more who are still missing.
Meantime, a state of emergency that was declared in the US Virgin Islands pending Tropical Storm Erika’s passage – which included a curfew being implemented, and the prices of food, supplies and services being frozen – was lifted across the territory yesterday.