Hurricane Debby Heading for FL or Gulf of Mexico? : LUSENET : TB2K spinoff uncensored : One Thread

So far, Debby on Florida course

MSNBC staff and wire reports

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico, Aug. 23  After dealing a light blow to Puerto Rico and other Caribbean islands, Hurricane Debby was poised to skim the Dominican Republic on Wednesday and possibly continue on course for the Bahamas on Thursday and the Miami area by week's end.

DEBBY'S CURRENT track would take it near the Miami-Fort Lauderdale area, home to some 5 million people, by Friday. The Florida Keys were also told to be on the alert. The projection triggered some hurricane anxiety, with some residents trekking to buy window boarding and bottled water.

But forecasters said it was too early to tell whether it would curve north into the Atlantic, hit Florida or cross into the Gulf of Mexico later in the week.

Just powerful enough for hurricane status with maximum winds of 75 mph, Debby on Tuesday disrupted flights and forced the closure of schools and offices in the northeast Caribbean but largely spared the islands as it brushed past to the north. Puerto Rico saw only 4 inches of rain.

"This storm was quite confusing in terms of all the various changes it made," said Gene Walker, emergency response leader in the Virgin Islands. "We were supposed to have had heavy rainfall some 10 to 12 inches of rain, and today that was changed to 5 inches."

The only storm-related death was a San Juan man who slipped from his roof while trying to dismantle an antenna. Schools and airports on Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands reopened Wednesday.


Hurricane force winds extended out from the center for 25 miles and Debby was churning toward the west-northwest at 16 mph. It was not expected to increase in strength on Wednesday.

Forecasters at the U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami said Debby on Wednesday would likely brush north of the Dominican Republic and Haiti, where hurricane warnings were issued.

The Dominican Republic, a nation of 8 million people, urged evacuation of homes in flood-prone areas on Tuesday. President Hipolito Mejia ordered public buildings readied as shelters.

More than 100 people were killed in September 1998 when the country was hit by Hurricane Georges.

By Thursday afternoon, the storm is expected to slide between Cuba and the Bahamas.

The Bahamas began sending soldiers to several southern islands on Tuesday and planned to send more to other islands Wednesday to prepare for the storm.

And Cuba put the eastern half of the island on provisional alert, urging residents from the central province of Camaguey to the easternmost province of Guantanamo to stay attentive to special TV and radio updates on the hurricane.


Debby's arrival in the Caribbean was as surprising as it was quick: The storm seemingly appeared out of nowhere Saturday and reached near-hurricane strength in little more than a day.

As it passes over warm water, Debby should build up force, increasing its wind speeds to 105 mph by Friday, said Hurricane Center forecaster Krissy Williams.

Florida emergency officials urged southern residents to begin paying close attention to weather reports. "We're like everybody else," said Elizabeth Hirst, spokeswoman for Gov. Jeb Bush. "In the wait-and-see mode."

Forecasters might post a hurricane watch in South Florida on Wednesday, Williams said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

-- (, August 23, 2000


Getting out my gas mask and KI now.

-- Oxy (, August 23, 2000.

Oops, sorry, wrong disaster.

Unfortunately, that is all I prepped for.

-- Oxy (, August 23, 2000.

If it were to continue on a straight path, it would head into the gulf toward the Florida Keys. However, given the typical air currents coming off of the gulf, I think it is going to be nudged northward into Miami, and will continue right up the coast into the Carolinas.

-- (, August 23, 2000.

Hopefully, it won't mess up the weekend around here.......


-- Deano (, August 23, 2000.

Cool satellite image, Mr. Blue Sky!

-- (, August 23, 2000.

Television news says it will stay downgraded, move south of tip of Florida, into the Gulf, up the west coast of Florida, coming ashore at Venice south of Tampa Bay as a tropical storm.

-- Oxy (, August 23, 2000.

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