A Haiti still reeling from the aftermath of Saturday’s powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake that killed more than 200 people may be faced with another challenge soon.
The island is in Tropical Storm Grace’s path, just days after it was doused by Fred, a tropical storm that weakened into a tropical depression while moving over Hispaniola.
“Poorly organized” Grace is forecast to be near or over Haiti Monday night, with maximum sustained winds near 45 mph with higher gusts, according to the National Hurricane Center.
Heavy rainfall ranging between four to seven inches, with some isolated areas possibly seeing up to 10 inches of rain, could lead to flash, urban and small stream flooding, according to the hurricane center. Mudslides are possible too.
Haiti has a history of deadly flooding and mudslides. In 2004, Hurricane Jeanne triggered massive flooding that killed over 3,000 people, mostly in the town of Gonaives.
No watches or warnings have been issued for Haiti yet though that may change in the next 24 to 48 hours. The other half of Hispaniola, the Dominican Republic, is already under a tropical storm watch for parts of its northern and southern coast.
While Haiti is in Grace’s cone, forecasters warn that there’s a higher level of uncertainty over the storm’s track. There’s also some uncertainty on what type of wind and rain impacts Grace could bring across the Dominican Republic, Haiti, the Turks and Caicos Islands, the Bahamas, Cuba and Florida next week.
As of the 5 p.m. advisory Saturday, Grace was about 55 miles east-southeast of Guadeloupe with maximum sustained winds near 40 mph with higher gusts. It was moving quickly west at 26 mph though its expected to slow down in the next few days.
On the forecast track, it should move over the Leeward Islands Saturday night, near the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico on Sunday, and move near or over the Dominican Republic Sunday night and Monday before nearing Haiti. Grace’s tropical-storm-force winds could reach Haiti as early as Monday night, according to the hurricane center.