Tropical Storm Erika Downgraded to Tropical Depression

Tropical Strom Erika
Photo Courtesy: UPI

MIAMI, Aug. 29 (UPI) — Tropical Storm Erika lost its punch off the coast of Cuba and was downgraded to a tropical depression Saturday morning, but forecasters warned the storm could regenerate in the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

The National Weather Service canceled all coastal watches and warnings, but said the storm is still expected to bring up to 10 inches of rain across portions of the Dominican Republic, Haiti and eastern and central Cuba through Sunday. One to three inches of rain is expected across the Turks and Caicos and southeastern and central Bahamas.

South and Central Florida should expect up to five inches of rain beginning Sunday with some gusty winds, forecasters said.

“Surface observations from Cuba, satellite imagery and reports from an Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter aircraft indicate that Erika has degenerated into a trough of low pressure,” forecasters said. “Regardless of regeneration, locally heavy rains and gusty winds should spread across portions of Cuba, the Bahamas, and southern Florida during the next couple of days.”

The storm has left at least 20 dead on the Caribbean island of Dominica after more than 12 inches of rain fell. Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit asked for international support for the damages to the tiny island.

“Nearly every community has been hit,” he said in an address posted on Facebook.“There is extensive damage across our small island after floods swamped villages, destroyed homes and wiped out roads. Some communities are no longer recognizable.”


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