Updated at 11:05 p.m. ET
Tropical Storm Erika has caused extensive flooding and landslides on the eastern Caribbean island of Dominica, killing at least four people and cutting power and water to many residents.
The storm dumped 9 inches of rain on the mountainous island late Wednesday.
“The situation is grim. It is dangerous,” Ian Pinard, Dominica’s communications minister, was quoted by The Associated Press as saying.
The AP reports that three people were killed in a mudslide in the island’s southeast and a fourth in the capital, Roseau.
According to the AP:
“About 80 percent of the island was without electricity, and water supply was cut off, authorities said. The main airport was closed due to flooding, with water rushing over cars and at least one small plane, and the scaffolding of some buildings collapsed.
“The main river that cuts through the capital overflowed its banks and surging water crashed into the principal bridge that leads into Roseau, whose roads were littered with fallen trees and light poles. Some streets were turned into fast-flowing rivers.”
On Thursday evening, Erika was located about 85 miles south-southwest of St. Croix, with maximum sustained winds of 45 mph, according to the National Hurricane Center. It is expected to be near or over the Dominican Republic on Friday.
The Sun-Sentinel reports: “Erika is predicted … [to] arrive east of Cape Canaveral early on Tuesday as a Category 1 hurricane with top winds of 85 mph.”
However, the newspaper notes: “There’s a high [degree] of uncertainty in both Erika’s track and intensity forecasts because the models are spread as to what the system will do four and five days from now.”