Tropical Storm Isaac Kills 10 in Haiti, Dominican Republic

At least 10 people were killed by Tropical Storm Isaac as it roared through Haiti—8 deaths in Haiti and 2 in the Dominican Republic.

The storm dumped so much rain on the island of Hispaniola—the name of the single island shared by Haiti and neighboring Dominican Republic—that flooding was a major concern. But despite the 10 deaths, the devastation still wasn’t as great as many had feared.

There was flooding in Port-au-Prince, the capital city, and the surrounding countryside, and life was immediately made harder for the thousands still living in the tent cities that were erected in the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake that crippled the country.

Joseph Edgard Celestin of Haiti’s Civil Protection Office didn’t have much information on storm-related deaths, but he did offer that one man was swept away as he tried to cross a river in a village in the country’s north.

In a separate report, Haiti’s Civil Protection Office said a 51-year-old woman was killed in the southern coastal town of Marigot after a tree fell on her home and a 10-year-old girl was killed in the village of Thomazeau after a wall collapsed on her.

In neighboring Dominican Republic, police reported that two men were swept away by flooded rivers —one of them was Pedro Peralta, a former mayor in Villa Altagracia, a town northwest of the capital of Santo Domingo, whose body was recovered Sunday by rescuers on the banks of the Haina River.

More than 14,000 people in Haiti left their homes in anticipation of the storm, and another 13,500 people were living in temporary shelters until Saturday night, the Civil Protection Office reported. Some 8,400 evacuees were in the country’s western department, the most populous and where the capital of Port-au-Prince is located.

The World Food Program had distributed two days of food to 8,300 of the people who had left their houses for 18 camps.

The Haitian government reported that a dozen houses were destroyed and another 269 damaged.

In Fourgy, a poor neighborhood in the northern part of Port-au-Prince, residents tried to clean out their homes and courtyards with used buckets and brooms as chocolate-colored waters from the nearby Grise River began to recede.

The water arrived early Saturday morning, rising up to the waist of an average adult, but by Sunday it had dropped to about shin high. Still, it was enough to destroy the few belongings of some people.

Rene Stevenson readily gave an inventory of possessions lost to the flood: bed, radio, TV set, plastic chairs.

“Everything’s totally lost,” Stevenson, 24, a cab driver with dried mud on his bare chest, told the Huffington Post.

It was wind that caused the damage in Pwa Kongo neighborhood. Isaac blew down rows of tents and other temporary shelters people had lived since they lost their homes in the 2010 earthquake.

Displaced again, the several dozen occupants took their belongings and spent Saturday night sleeping on the wooden pews of a small church next door.

“There’s a church so we’re here,” said Arel Homme Derastel, a 32-year-old father of three. “All’s broken.”

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