At least two people have been killed in a weather-related incident during the passage of Hurricane Isaias over the country between Thursday, July 30, and Friday, July 31. One fatality occurred in Río San Juan (María Trinidad Sánchez province) following the downing of a power line, and two homes were also damaged within the province. Another fatality and widespread property damage was also reported in Puerta Plata (Puerta Plata province). In San José de Ocoa province, flooding on the Montenegro River isolated at least six settlements and cut power to over 72,0000 customers. Over 335,000 people across the province have also been left without water. Storm conditions also led to the cancelations of a number of flights at Las Americas International Airport (SDQ) between Friday, and Sunday, August 2. The government has since discontinued its Tropical Storm Warning following Isias' movement to the northwest.
Strengthening to a hurricane on July 31, Isaias is centered 58km (36mi) south of Crooked Island (The Bahamas) and is currently sustaining winds of up to 75mph (120kph). The National Hurricane Centre (NHC) has warned that it will bring high winds and a dangerous storm surge to the Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands over Friday and on Saturday, August 1. Hurricane conditions are expected to be experienced in Florida from Friday evening.
The Atlantic hurricane season runs from late May through to the end of November, with activity typically peaking in late August and early September. Numerous tropical storms form in the Atlantic Ocean during this period, with most affecting the Caribbean, the Gulf of Mexico, and the east coast of the United States. Although communities in the region are generally well prepared for adverse weather conditions during the hurricane season, severe storms bring a significant risk of flooding and infrastructural damage.
The Dominican Republic sees a considerable risk of tropical storm activity each year due to its location within the Atlantic hurricane belt. Storms can range from weak to catastrophic, with the latter causing serious wind damage, coastal flooding, and mudslides in mountainous terrain. Tropical systems generally form from June through November, though non-tropical storms are possible at any time of year.
Individuals in areas forecast to be affected by the storm system are advised to monitor local weather reports, confirm flight reservations, adhere to instructions issued by local authorities, anticipate adverse weather and power and transportation disruptions, and remember that running water can be dangerous - 15 cm (6 in) is enough to knock over an adult - and never drive through flooded streets; floodwater may also contain wastewater and chemical products.
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