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Florida asks for disaster declaration due to Tropical Storm Fay

by Staff Writers
Miami (AFP) Aug 21, 2008
Florida Governor Charlie Crist has asked federal authorities to declare his state a disaster area after heavy rains dumped by Tropical Storm Fay, which lingered Thursday over the northern and eastern part of the state.

"This storm is turning into a serious catastrophic flooding event, particularly in southern Brevard County," Crist said on Wednesday. "Some areas could see rainfall of as much as 30 inches."

As of 8 am (1200 GMT) Fay was largely stationary over a large swathe of northeastern Florida, and "has barely moved over in the last hours," the Miami-based National Hurricane Center said in a statement. The storm had maximum sustained winds of near 95 kilometers (60 miles) an hour with higher gusts.

"Slight strengthening is still possible while the center of Fay remains over water ... but gradual weakening is forecast after Fay moves back over the Florida peninsula," the Center said in a statement.

The storm "is expected to produce rainfall accumulations over the next 36 hours of five to 10 inches (13 to 25 centimeters) ... with isolated amounts of 15 inches (38 centimeters)" across northern Florida, the Center said.

"Isolated storm total accumulations of near 30 inches (76 centimeters) can be expected in Florida," it added.

Fay is forecast to move slowly west across northern Florida and be close to the state's Gulf Coast panhandle by early Saturday.

Fay on Tuesday slammed into Florida's southwest coast, buffeting the state with powerful winds and drenching rains, while also spawning tornadoes and severe flooding. When it made landfall Fay knocked out power to some 93,000 people across Florida, which was placed under a state of emergency.

In the Caribbean over the weekend, Fay left a trail of death and destruction -- particularly in Haiti, where a truck carrying around 60 passengers plunged into a swollen river.

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30 still missing after truck swept into river in Haiti
Port-Au-Prince (AFP) Aug 19, 2008
At least 30 people remain missing in Haiti two days after a truck carrying more than twice that number was swept into a river swollen by Tropical Storm Fay, authorities said Tuesday.

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