Tropical Storm Emily is set to hit Haiti on Wednesday. According to the National Hurricane Center in Miami, Tropical Storm warnings were issued across large sections of the northern Caribbean as Emily brushed past Puerto Rico and began making its way towards Hispaniola, an island shared by the Dominican Republic and Haiti.
A “steady shield of rain” should reach the island of Hispaniola shared by the Dominican Republic and Haiti around noon Wednesday and the rainfall should worsen by late afternoon, said John Dlugoenski, senior meteorologist with Accuweather.com to Fox News.
“The biggest threat to lives is probably flooding,” added Dlugoenski.
The NHC reported that “weakening is expected as the center moves over the high terrain of that island.”
They added, “Some re-strengthening is forecast after the center moves away from Hispaniola.”
Government officials have already started to move civilians out of high risk zones in the Dominican Republic and Haitian authorities are urging their citizens to conserve food and safeguard their belongings.
Haitian emergency authorities have prepared 22 buses for evacuating people out of flooded areas if needed. The buses will transport civilians to churches, schools and other buildings for shelter in the event of serious flooding.
“We’re working day and night to be able to respond quickly in case we have any disasters,” said Marie Alta Jean-Baptiste, director of Haiti’s Civil Protection Agency to Fox News.
According the NHC, 10 inches of rainfall is expected in some parts of Haiti and the Dominican Republic, which could cause dangerous and fatal weather conditions such as flash floods and mudslides in areas of mountainous terrain.
The storm has also sustained winds of 50 mph and is expected by forecasters to hit the Bahamas on Thursday.
A tropical storm warning was issued in Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Haiti and the Bahamas. The U.S. Virgin islands were also under a storm watch which has now been dropped.
Forecasters also said the storm could hit the east coast of Florida by early Saturday. But no warnings have been issued for the area thus far.