Tropical Depression Isaac drops rain on Puerto Rico, sparks outages

The clouds within the red square are the outer bands of Hurricane Helene

Isaac is located about 510 miles (815 km) east-southeast of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, with maximum sustained winds of 40 miles per hour (65 kph), the NHC said.

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico - Power outages are being reported across Puerto Rico as Tropical Depression Isaac drops rain across the USA territory.

Forecasters said it was expected to gradually pick up forward speed and complete a big turn toward the Northeast, which is in for as much as 6 inches of rain.

Northwesterly shear continues to take a toll on Isaac.

City officials warned that still-rising water threatened some neighborhoods and businesses that seemed safe, but said the worst was almost over and life was beginning to return to normal downtown.

The chairman of New Hanover County's commissioners, Woody White, said three centers would open by Tuesday morning to begin distributing essentials to residents.

Swells generated by Florence could cause unsafe rip currents and coastal flooding Saturday in areas including coastal DE and New Jersey, the National Weather Service said. Water kills more people in hurricanes than wind, and the rain and storm surge will make Florence extremely unsafe.

President Trump also urged those expected to be affected to remain safe. "Dont play games with it. During Matthew the water never reached their house", she said. AP photographer Gerry Broome in Lumberton, North Carolina; Gary Robertson in Raleigh; Alex Derosier in Fayetteville, North Carolina; and Jay Reeves in Atlanta contributed to this report. Airlines canceled almost 1,000 flights and counting.

About two dozen truckloads of military MREs and bottled water were delivered overnight to Wilmington, the state's eighth-largest city, officials said. Two other people were sent to a hospital for observation. Power outages in the Southeast also were down, from a high of more than 910,000 to about 310,000, almost all in North Carolina.

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Boarding up his home in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, Chris Pennington watched the forecasts and tried to decide when to leave.

"At this time, things are moving as well as can be in the city", he said.

Computer models of exactly what the storm might do varied, adding to the uncertainty.

In South Carolina, governor Henry McMaster declared a state of emergency on Saturday to give his state time to prepare for the possible arrival of a hurricane.

"I ask all Georgians to join me in praying for the safety of our people and all those in the path of Hurricane Florence", Deal said. Along the coastal areas, 1 million people have been asked to evacuate.

Authorities ordered the immediate evacuation of up to 7,500 people living within a mile (1.6 kilometers) of a stretch of the Cape Fear River and the Little River, about 100 miles (160 kilometers) from the North Carolina coast. Unsure of what they might find when they return home, the couple went shopping for a recreational vehicle.

"We've been going so hard and fast we don't have a number yet", he said. The trend is "exceptionally bad news", said University of Miami hurricane researcher Brian McNoldy, since it "smears a landfall out over hundreds of miles of coastline, most notably the storm surge".

The rain was unrelenting in Cheraw, a town of about 6,000 people in northeastern SC. "You feel like you should have already left".

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