(ABC NEWS) — Tropical Storm Erika is veering towards the United States with its sights set on Florida after leaving a path of death and destruction in the Caribbean.
The storm soaked Puerto Rico hard and at least four people were killed in the island of Dominica after flash flooding was caused by 15 inches of rain on Thursday morning.
The Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency is reporting that local government officials believe that there are 31 additional people missing who are feared dead.
The storm now has winds of 50 mph and currently 65 miles from Santo Domingo with the Dominican Republic and Haiti bracing for heavy winds.
Part of the problem in predicting this storm comes from the fact that its center circulation isn’t easily detected by satellites.
At the moment, the storm is approaching the Dominican Republic, but the areas in its path after that are taking preparations already.
Florida Gov. Rick Scott has already declared a state of emergency, which means that the National Guard has been activated and state officials are able to waive tolls and activate emergency evacuation traffic policies.
The Sunshine State hasn’t been hit by a hurricane in a decade, according to the Associated Press, and while Erika is expected to stay a tropical storm when and if it makes landfall, it could still do damage.