Tropical Storm Ernesto heads toward Jamaica

Associated Press Modified: August 4, 2012 at 10:15 pm •  Published: August 4, 2012

KINGSTON, Jamaica (AP) — Tropical Storm Ernesto became less organized as it moved over open waters in the Caribbean late Saturday and wasn't expected to gain strength as it headed for a pass south of Jamaica on Sunday.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center said Ernesto still could grow into a hurricane as it swirled along a course forecast to take it over the coastal resorts of Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula by Wednesday.

With forecasters predicting possible rains of up to three to six inches in Jamaica, long lines formed at grocery stores in the island's capital of Kingston as people bought water, bread and canned goods.

"We're going to have heavy rains, so I'm stocking up," said Marco Brown, a Kingston resident in his late 50s.

The Jamaican government ordered fishermen on outlying cays to evacuate and head to the main island. The storm was expected to pass close to Pedro Cays on Sunday evening, according to the local Meteorological Service Office.

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