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Tropical Storm Hanna Likely to Strengthen When Crossing Bahamas


Tropical Storm Hanna continues its push towards the Bahamas, after triggering flash floods in Haiti that killed at least 21 people.

At last report, the National Hurricane Center in Miami said the storm is located about 155 kilometers southeast of Great Inagua Islands in the southeastern Bahamas and 125 kilometers southwest of Grand Turk Island.

Forecasters say Hanna has maximum sustained winds of 95 kilometers per hour and is moving towards the north at speeds of nine kilometers per hour.

It is expected to regain hurricane strength Wednesday and Thursday.

Hanna is expected to produce as much as 30 centimeters of rain over the Bahamas, Turks and Caicos Islands, and eastern Cuba. Up to 38 centimeters of rain is expected on the island of Hispaniola, shared by Haiti and the Dominican Republic.

Hanna produced heavy rains over Haiti earlier this week, causing flash floods in the northwestern town of Gonaives. Officials say some parts of Gonaives are under as much as two meters of water, with many residents climbing onto rooftops to escape the floods.

The storm is expected to near the southeastern United States by Thursday, and could make landfall by the end of the week in Florida, Georgia or the Carolinas.

On Tuesday, Florida Governor Charlie Crist declared a state of emergency.

Meanwhile, Tropical Storm Ike is expected to evolve into a hurricane later today, as it continues on a westward path toward the Leeward Islands in the Atlantic Ocean. And Tropical Storm Josephine is expected to pass just south of the Cape Verde Islands over the next day.