South Florida braces for Tropical Storm Erika

Miami, Florida – Meteorologists are urging South Florida residents to prepare for the arrival of Tropical Storm Erika.

The storm, which recently ripped through the eastern Caribbean killing at least four people, is aimed at Florida. In particular, Erika could reach highly populated places such as Miami, Hollywood and Hallandale.

In a recent press release, Governor Rick Scott is suggesting everyone stock up on about three days’ worth of food and water.

“Stay up with what’s going on. Follow the local news. Listen to your local elected officials. Stay prepared,” Scott said. “Think about your children, your grandchildren and your parents, your siblings, and think about friends who might have needs.”

Jeff Kivett of the South Florida Water Management District said they have already begun preparations with sandbags and pump stations. Other potentially effected cities have begun clearing storm drains and trimming and cutting uprooted palm trees.

“We can’t wait until we see where it’s actually going to hit,” said Kivett “so we started our preparations.”

As of Friday morning, Erika was found about 145 miles southeast of San Juan, Puerto Rico and was moving west at 12 mph. Erika was measured as having sustained winds of 45 mph. According the US National Hurricane Center, Erika’s exact trail remains unclear.

Forecasters say that Tropical Storm Erika may strengthen into a hurricane as it nears the southern portion of Florida early next week or it could pass over land and weaken.

Weather Channel meteorologist Mike Seidel, says: “We have two ends of the spectrum here. The problem right now is until Saturday, Erika is dealing with a lot of wind shear. All the thunderstorms are not wrapped around the center so Erika can’t strengthen.”

Weather authorities are saying that the track of the storm will become clearer during the next 48 hours. On Friday, Tropical Storm Erika is expected to pass near or over the Dominican Republic as it makes its way toward the Bahamas. When the storm hit the Lesser Antilles on Thursday, it caused large amounts of destruction with major flooding and power outages.

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