The first major tropical storm of the hurricane season hits the island, heads north to Florida
UPDATE – 4:30 p.m. EST:
As of Saturday afternoon, the death toll from tropical storm Isaac is three. Local officials confirmed that a seven year old boy, Feguens Saint-Pierre, was electrocuted in Gonaives.
Though an official report from the central government has yet to be released, local officials confirmed hundreds of homes were damaged and several rivers flooded roadways in areas surrounding the capital, the central plateau and the southern coast. In Jacmel and Marigot, 2000 residents were evacuated due to flooded rivers and mudslides.
Flooding from the Grise River was captured on video by radio broadcaster Carel Pedre:
Original news brief:
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — Last night, tropical storm Isaac’s first rains and heavy winds hit Haiti. Haitian authorities, with assistance from the Red Cross and the International Organization for Migration (IOM), evacuated thousands living in make-shift dwellings near flood-prone areas. Haiti’s civil protection agency claimed that 1500 emergency shelters, mainly empty schools, were made available to over 5,000 evacuees.
The storm claimed two lives — a woman from the central plateau and a 10 year old child from the southern coast. As officials assess the needs of impacted areas, several reports of flooded and blocked roads, along with major power outages, have surfaced on social media.
President Michel Martelly canceled his trip to Japan to coordinate emergency response efforts and visit vulnerable tent camp residents with Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe.