Tropical Storm Franklin hits Haiti, Dominican Republic with heavy rain, mudslides

At least one person is dead and two others were injured after Tropical Storm Franklin made landfall in the Dominican Republic and Haiti on Wednesday, bringing heavy rain and mudslides to the island of Hispaniola.

Forecasters projected the storm would swirl for most of Wednesday above the island that includes both countries. The National Weather Service said “potentially life-threatening flash and urban flooding as well mudslides” are expected Wednesday.

Tropical storm warnings are in effect for portions of the Dominican Republic and Haiti, the National Hurricane Center said Wednesday.

Forecasters said the storm could bring 6 to 12 inches in the Dominican Republic, with up to 16 inches for the country’s western and central regions. Up to 4 inches of rain are expected in Haiti, with nearly 8 inches in the country’s eastern regions.

The Dominican Republic’s Civil Defense said a man was killed after being swept away in the floodwaters in San Cristobal, where two women were also hospitalized after a landslide.

Juan Manuel Méndez, emergency operations director, urged the public to stay either in their homes, the homes of friends and families or in shelters.

More than 300 residents gathered in shelters in the Dominican Republic while another 280 people were evacuated from their homes and moved to safer ground, according to a report from The Associated Press.

In a press briefing Wednesday, the Emergency Operations Center of the Dominican Republic said 25 provinces are on red alert and another seven are on yellow alert because of flooding.

The storm downed multiple trees and at least two light posts while dozens of homes were impacted by the street flooding, AP reported.

“It is important that we take the necessary precautions to protect our lives and those of our loved ones,” Dominican Republic President Luis Abinader wrote in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter, urging residents to “stay alert.”

Ariel Henry, the acting leader of Haiti, said the country is “fully committed” to providing shelter, food, water and medical assistance to those who need it.

“Local authorities, relief agencies and partner organizations are working hand in hand to ensure that no one is left behind,” Henry wrote in a post on X.

A tropical storm warning is also in effect in the Turks and Caicos, where storm conditions are expected to begin later Wednesday into the evening. Forecasters said 1 to 3 inches of rain are expected, mainly across the eastern islands.

Meanwhile, Puerto Rico was also hit by heavy rainfall, mainly across western portions of the island, the National Hurricane Center said.

Forecasters said the center of Franklin is expected to move off the north coast of the Dominican Republic later Wednesday.

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