Interactive: Hurricane Tracker

Monitor Atlantic storm paths and weather conditions.

msnbc.com staff and news service reports
updated 8/4/2011 6:40:40 PM ET 2011-08-04T22:40:40

Tropical Storm Emily broke apart Thursday and became a wet low pressure system after dumping rains over Haiti and the southwestern corner of the Dominican Republic, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said.

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The system still had "some" potential to regenerate on Friday or Saturday, the center stated, which meant Florida would still be watching it.

The center said all hurricane watches and warnings had been canceled but heavy rains were continuing to fall over the island of Hispaniola, which is shared by Haiti and the Dominican Republic. Flooding and mudslides were still a threat.

Emily dropped more than 5 inches around the southwestern Dominican city of Barahona, prompting the government to order the evacuation of more than 5,000 people.

With about 600,000 Haitians still living in flimsy tents and shanties because of the January 2010 earthquake, strong winds whipped through palm trees in Haiti's capital while heavier rains fell farther north, damaging several hundred homes and a cholera treatment center, said Marie Alta Jean-Baptiste, the country's civil defense director. But there were no reports of deaths.

Story: US: Stronger odds for above-average hurricane season

A river in Haiti's central Artibonite Valley rose to dangerous levels late in the day, threatening to inundate at least 50 small cinderblock and wooden houses in L'Estere. It has been raining in that area for weeks, but the added rain from Emily brought the chocolate-brown L'Estere River to the edge of its banks.

Associated Press journalists accompanied a government worker who warned people to leave their homes. Most refused, however, fearing to leave their belongings behind in the remote area.

In the capital, which has most of those left homeless by the earthquake, the rain was relatively light so far, but the government evacuated a few families from a camp for quake victims to a school, said Jean-Joseph Edgard, an administrator in Haiti's Civil Protection Department.

Story: Start of Atlantic hurricane season has been busy

About a hundred people were staying in temporary shelters in the southern beach town of Jacmel and 25 inmates from a jail in the coastal town of Mirogoane were taken to a nearby police station, said Emmanuelle Schneider, a spokeswoman for the U.N. Office for the Coordination for Humanitarian Affairs.

Schneider said the U.N. mission also sent heavy equipment to the Central Plateau to help repair a road cut by flooding. A team of sanitation specialists also traveled to the area to help stem the flow of cholera after a treatment center for the waterborne disease flooded.

The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.

Video: Tropical Storm Emily takes aim at Haiti

  1. Closed captioning of: Tropical Storm Emily takes aim at Haiti

    >>> tropical storm emily is taking aim at haiti and the dominican republic right now. it is expected to reach the u.s. this weekend. we want to get right to the weather channel 's eric fisher . he's been following this, watching the storm's track right now. what's the latest? what do we have a sense of what it might do?

    >>> well, good morning, peter. the bottom line with this storm is it doesn't really know what it wants to do. it's not very organized. tropical storm emily has been drifting westward and we've seen flare-ups of thunderstorms and they dissipate and flare back up again. right now, 50-mile-per-hour winds. the stationary movement. that's kind of at the time of the advisory, a stationary movement just slowly drifting westward. the pressure is at 1,005 millibars. here are the first visible shots of the day. you can see the cluster of thunderstorms with the center right about in here as it slowly works its way west, and it doesn't look impressive, but sometimes you don't need that perfect-looking hurricane or tropical storm to create a high-impact event. some of that rain starting to come ashore across hispaniola, and we could see some big-time rain totals as this slowly works west and then begins to take a turn north over time . some of the reasons it's not really intensifying -- see that slice of orange? that's dry air in the atmosphere. storms don't like to see that. also notice some of the clouds moving up from the south here. they're moving off to the east. steering currents aren't right. so the bottom line , it's really not going to strengthen into a major storm, but it will create up to 20 inches of rainfall across the higher terrain of his panela. that's where we have tropical storm warnings . also the southeastern bahamas , tropical storm watches here for the northwestern bahamas and eastern cuba is in that warning, too. so, if you're on vacation in the bahamas , this is certainly going to be a rain maker . and here is the forecast trek. slowly should start to churn off toward the north and west, weakening a little bit. might see some minor strengthening. it does appear they'll get picked up and moved out into the ocean as we get into the weekend, but folks on the eastern side of florida still need to watch this storm as we head through the next few days.

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