Residents batten down as Tropical Storm Erika takes aim at federation

With reports of severe flooding, landslides, partially collapsed buildings in Dominica, along with a raging Roseau River, residents in the federation are not taking chances as downtown becomes more deserted.

Commercial enterprises in Basseterre, including banks, TDC, Horsford, Courts and Rams, have shuttered their glass windows, as wind gusts are now being experienced with a heavily overcast sky.

Both air and seaports are closed. Two Carnival cruise ships due to call at Port Zante today and tomorrow alerted authorities of their cancelled cruises to the area. Meanwhile, most fishers took their vessels out of the water yesterday, and some fishing boats have been pulled off the Irish Town Bay Front and into nearby streets. Several yachts also have been taken out of the water.

Earlier this morning, residents could be seen making last minute purchases from shops in various communities, with bottled water high on their list of priorities in anticipation of the shutting off of water supply as a precautionary measure.

Ferry-PortLIAT cancelled flights since yesterday, including today’s flights LI527 out of St. Kitts to San Juan, LI550 to ST. Maarten, LI508/509 affecting connections to St. Maarten and Tortola, as well as LI526 with connections to Tortola and San Juan.

Erika’s center was passing between the islands of Guadeloupe and Antigua on Thursday morning, the hurricane center said.

Erika has slowed its forward movement. A NOAA Hurricane Hunter reconnaissance flight found the storm had maximum sustained winds of 50 mph.

Tropical storm warnings are in effect for Anguilla, Saba and St. Eustatius, St. Maarten, St. Martin, St. Barthelemy, Montserrat, Antigua and Barbuda, St. Kitts and Nevis, Puerto Rico, Vieques, Culebra, U.S. Virgin Islands and the British Virgin Islands.

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