Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Hortense Punishes Island of Grand Turk

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Hortense Punishes Island of Grand Turk

Article excerpt

Hurricane Hortense smashed the island of Grand Turk with torrents of rain and 90-mph wind Wednesday as it picked up speed and headed toward the United States. It left 14 dead in its wake.

On Tuesday, Hortense pounded Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic.

President Bill Clinton declared Puerto Rico a disaster area Wednesday, making federal aid available to those affected by the Hurricane. Hortense had maximum sustained wind of 110 mph Wednesday night, but was expected to lose strength during the night as it passed through the Caicos and southeastern Bahamas, the National Hurricane Center in Miami said. At 7 p.m. St. Louis time, the center of the storm was churning northwest through the Atlantic toward the Bahamas, passing 65 miles northeast of the Turks and Caicos Islands. Hurricane force wind extended outward for 60 miles. The hurricane hit Grand Turk, directly north of the Dominican Republic, Wednesday afternoon, lashing the capital of the British island chain with gusts up to 90 mph while churning up the Atlantic with 105-mph wind. Because telephone lines were down on the island, it was impossible to determine whether there were any deaths or injuries. The 3,200 residents were without state television or radio. The National Hurricane Center in Miami said there was a slight chance that the hurricane would cross the Bahamas and come within 65 miles of West Palm Beach and Fort Pierce on Florida's east coast Friday. But forecasters think it's more likely a weather trough in the mid-Atlantic states will keep the hurricane offshore, pushing the storm north and possibly targeting the Northeast by Sunday. (* The following text appeared in the THREE STAR edition *) Hortense's blinding rain did the most damage in Puerto Rico on Tuesday, when highways that had been transformed into rivers swept away cars and rivers burst their banks, carrying away people and destroying more than 650 homes. The storm cut power and water supplies across most of this island of 3.6 million people. A third of the residents had power back Wednesday. Overnight Tuesday, about 1,000 people were stranded on rooftops along a 15-mile stretch of beachfront highway running west from the capital of San Juan, the U. …

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