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Cristobal's pelting rains lash southeast Bahamas

Published on NewsOK Modified: August 24, 2014 at 4:39 pm •  Published: August 24, 2014
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SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic (AP) — Slow-moving Tropical Storm Cristobal lashed parts of the Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands with heavy rainfall on Sunday, and one man died and two other people were earlier left missing when they were caught up by swollen rivers on the island shared by the Dominican Republic and Haiti.

The man who died was drowned when he tried to drive his pickup truck across a rushing river in the Dominican Republic's Hato Mayor, a province northeast of the capital of Santo Domingo, said Juan Manuel Mendez, the country's emergency operations director.

The two missing people were swept away late Saturday by a river that burst its banks in the western Haiti port town of Saint Marc. "We're still looking for the bodies," said Luckecy Mathieu, a civil protection coordinator.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami said Cristobal may strengthen into a hurricane later in the week over the open Atlantic. The storm's center was expected to curve away from the U.S. East Coast.

Many residents in the sparsely populated southeastern Bahamas and the tiny British Caribbean dependency of the Turks and Caicos Islands hunkered down as Cristobal's rains pelted windowpanes.

Capt. Stephen Russell, head of the Bahamas' emergency management agency, said there had been no reports of damage. Air traffic to the southeastern Bahamian islands had not been suspended, but sea vessels were advised to remain in port, he said.

Turks and Caicos Premier Rufus Ewing advised residents to remain indoors as much as possible because the island chain south of the Bahamas was still experiencing heavy rains and "extensive flooding in low-lying areas," especially on Middle Caicos and North Caicos islands.

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