Tomas is now a hurricane. The center of the storm will pass right between Haiti and the eastern tip of Cuba. This will keep the core of the heaviest hurricane force wind mainly offshore. However, this will allow Tomas to not lose any strenth. Plus, since the center of the storm will pass just west of Haiti, the county will be on the strongest side of the hurricance. Unfortanately, as mentioned below, flooding and mudslides could prove a major hazard in a county that still has over 1 million people still living in tents. Below you will notice that I have mentioned the cholera epidemic. I have included a link to the cholera affected parts of Haiti. Unfortunately, many of these areas are located in the western sections of the country closer to the worst affects of the hurricane. Keep track of the hurricane with satellite pictures here and the latest statements from the National Hurricane Center here.
Haiti is at risk for a second major disaster. Earthquake ravaged Haiti has still not recovered from the wrath of destruction that occurred nearly 10 months ago on January 12th. Over 1 million people still reside in tents to this day. Now Hurricane Tomas is spreading area with heavy rain, some wind, and a potential deepening humanitarian disaster.
Flooding rainfall and mudslides appear to be the most severe threat from Tomas, which will either be a tropical storm or lower intensity minimum hurricane. According the National Hurricane Center, 5 to 10 inches of rain will likely occur over much of Haiti and the Dominican Republic with possible isolated maximum amounts of 15 inches possible where rain gets squeeze out over mountainous locations. This type of rainfall could cause life threatening flash floods and mud slides over the mountainous terrain. Flash flooding and mud slides would decimate the over 1 million people living in tents. There is a voluntary evacuation from the tent camps, but according to this Associated Press story, residents are very concerned about more than just Tomas. "People said, 'We've been displaced before. What's going to happen to us? Are we going to be able to get back?'" said Bryant Castro, an American Refugee Committee staffer who is managing the nearly 8,000 people at the Corail-Cesselesse relocation camp. Then there is the Cholera epidemic that is occurring as we speak. According to this web article, there have already been over 400 deaths due to the Cholera bacterial infection that has formed due to the lack of clean water since the earthquake occurred. Flash flooding and mudslides would likely make this worse, as well.
Meteorologist Jim Cantore from The Weather Channel will be following the storm from Haiti and would likely report from Haiti on Friday for the Today Show on NBC. According to Jim TMs twitter account, A man told me he estimates only 2% of the rubble has been removed from the earthquake. Workers are paid $5 a day in a bucket by bucket approach. This is not like any assignment I have ever done. I can't help these people no matter what I say or know. Hopefully the world will see. I also follow Jim TMs twitter account and will re-tweet many of his reports on my twitter account here.
You can follow Tomas via satellite pictures here. The closest Doppler Radar is located in eastern Cuba here. Stay tuned to CNYcentral for the latest on Haiti and Tomas.. I will have more on how Tomas is affecting Haiti on Today in Central New York Friday morning starting at 4:56am.
For more on your weather forecast, click on Weather and then the Live Triple Doppler Radar tab on our weather page. Make sure you refresh the Doppler radar to see the very latest information, as well. Furthermore, we have our new Interactive Doppler Radar on our website. You can zoom down to street level with Interactive Doppler Radar. You are in total control of where the radar can zoom in. Give it a try. Plus, click on our Severe Weather Tab and our Watches and Warnings map to see the very latest county specific watches and warnings. In addition, you can follow along with me on Twitter by either clicking on the follow button on the Twitter section of our weather page or by visiting www.twitter.com/PeteWeatherBeat.