Photo: Tropical Storm Irene Hits Puerto Rico
The Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico are bracing themselves for what might be the first hurricane of the season, if Tropical Storm Irene continues gaining strength.
The U.S. National Hurricane Center in Florida is predicting that the tropical storm could become a hurricane by Friday and reach the U.S. by Friday.
Currently Irene is some 90 miles southeast of Ponce, Puerto Rico and had sustained winds of 50 mph while moving 20 mph. It is expected to arrive in Puerto Rico late tonight, then move toward the Dominican Republic and portions of Haiti. Currently 4,000 people in Puerto Rico are without power and some 13,000 without water due to the heavy rains and wind.
Once a tropical storm has sustained winds of 74 mph or more it is considered a hurricane.