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Tropical Storm Erika Weakens

The National Hurricane Center said Friday that Tropical Storm Erika is forecast to weaken into a tropical depression. During the 5 p.m. announcement, meteorologists said they expect Erika to be downgraded to a depression Saturday. There's even a possibility that the storm could dissipate to a trough of low pressure during or after its passage over Hispaniola. Officials say there's "a significant chance" that no watches or warnings for Florida will be required over the weekend. Still, the...
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Florida Public Radio Emergency Network

The National Hurricane Center said Friday that Tropical Storm Erika is forecast to weaken into a tropical depression.

During the 5 p.m. announcement, meteorologists said they expect Erika to be downgraded to a depression Saturday. There's even a possibility that the storm could dissipate to a trough of low pressure during or after its passage over Hispaniola.

Officials say there's "a significant chance" that no watches or warnings for Florida will be required over the weekend.

Erika Strikes Islands, Kills At Least A Dozen

8 hours ago
Office of the Governor

Tropical Storm Erika began to lose steam Friday as it skirted along the southern coast of the Dominican Republic, but it left behind a trail of destruction that included at least a dozen people killed on the small eastern Caribbean island of Dominica, authorities said.

Daylina Miller / WUSF Public Media

Whether it’s a full-blown hurricane or just a tropical storm - Erika has the potential to bring heavy rains and with that comes the potential of flooding.

So, here is information on who to call and what to do should you experience flooding. If your county is offering free sandbags, be sure to bring your own shovel.

Hillsborough County

USF Beta Gamma chapter of Lambda Theta Alpha

USF senior Barbara "Barbie" Jimenez, who has been in a Cuban hospital since being seriously injured earlier this month, is scheduled to arrive in Tampa Friday afternoon.

Jimenez, 22, was briefly left in a coma after a car accident in Havana August 3 that killed one man and injured her, her boyfriend and two of her family members.

She and boyfriend, John Fox, had just arrived on a visit to her aunt and uncle, and had left the airport about a half hour before the taxi cab they were in was struck head on by a government transportation truck.

Florida Lottery Secretary Cynthia O’Connell is resigning amid questions about her travel, spending and work habits.

The governor’s office announced the resignation Friday. It is effective Oct. 1.

O’Connell was appointed by Scott in 2011. The governor’s office said she is seeking work in the private sector.

Scott appointed deputy secretary of sales Tom Delacenserie as interim secretary.

O’Connell’s abrupt resignation came days after a news report that she had taken nearly nine weeks of vacation last year and racked up nearly $30,000 in travel bills.

Today, Governor Rick Scott declared a State of Emergency for Florida in preparation for Tropical Storm Erika.

NOAA.gov

We take a look at how you can prepare if any storms do come our way.

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Tropical Storm Erika Remains Disorganized

19 hours ago
Florida Public Radio Emergency Network

Tropical Storm Erika’s path on Friday morning is still puzzling forecasters, as it is headed south of Puerto Rico and moving west-northwest. 

One big question among forecasters is what happens when it crosses the Dominican Republic?  It's pretty disorganized now, so it could fizzle out over Hispanola. If it survives that trip, Erika will re-enter warm water and get stronger, according to Florida Public Radio meteorologist Jeff Huffman.

Bobbie O'Brien / WUSF Public Media

This week, the Tampa Bay region lost one of its more notable World War II veterans, retired Judge John Germany. He served as an Army tank commander at age 22 and helped liberate a concentration camp on the German-Austrian border before being sent to the Pacific theater.

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