Monday, 20 August 2007 01:51

Hurricane Dean Swipes Jamaica: Texas Prepares

slide13Weather related problems continue around different parts of the Caribbean and the U-S and its territories.  Hurricane Dean has swept across the southern coast of Jamaica with high winds and surf even as the storm’s eye remained offshore. At 8 p.m. ET Sunday, Dean was moving west about 35 mph with sustained winds of up to 145 mph, according to reports from the National Hurricane Center.

Jamaica's electrical grid was shut down Sunday in preparation for the hurricane which is classified as a Category 4 storm. As it moves into the western Caribbean Sea, the storm retains the potential to become a Category 5 hurricane indicating winds in excess of 155 mph. The Belize government also issued a tropical storm warning from Dan-gree-a-ga north to the border with Mexico, according to the National Hurricane Center. Haiti was spared the brunt of Dean's force, with no major flooding or mudslides, but at least two people were killed and 10 were injured, officials said.

Six homes were destroyed and 200 damaged by winds on the island of Hispaniola -- the island that includes Haiti and the Dominican Republic -- even  as the storm's eye stayed well south of the island. The Mexican government issued a hurricane watch from Che-tumal to San Fe-lip-a on the Yucatan(U-ca-tan) Peninsula. Tracking maps developed by the hurricane center show Dean likely reaching Mexico's coast sometime Tuesday, possibly as a Category 5 storm. Now Southeast Texas is keeping an eye on Dean as well.