September 3, 2008

Hanna Expands in Size but Not Strength

Tropical Storm Hanna expanded by 60 miles midday Wednesday as it soaked the Dominican Republic and Haiti, U.S. forecasters in Miami said.

Hurricane warnings and watches were posted for most of the Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands while tropical storm warnings were up in Haiti and the Dominican Republic.

At 11 a.m., Hanna was centered about 95 miles east-southeast of Great Inagua Island and about 75 miles southwest of Grand Turk island.

The storm was moving north at 6 mph, tropical storm-force winds extended 290 miles from the center, 60 miles more than the U.S. National Hurricane Center reported in its 5 a.m. update.

Forecasters said the southeastern Bahamas could received as much as 12 inches of rain as Hanna progresses and brings rain to southeastern Florida by Friday.

In the warning area, the report said coastal storm surge flooding of 2 to 4 feet above normal tide levels should be expected.

Wednesday morning, The Miami Herald said Hanna's flooding was being blamed on at least 10 deaths in Haiti, where Hurricane Gustav killed nearly 80 people early last week.