TROPICAL STORM DEBBY
A tropical wave moved off the west coast of Africa into the eastern Atlantic Ocean on September 4. The wave was quite large
as showed by satellite pictures, and was composed of several clusters of thunderstorms and convection. However, little organization
took place until the storm began to near the Lesser Antilles on September 9, when a ship located near Barbados reported high
winds. The wave is estimated to have become the fourth tropical depression of the season on September 9. The depression strengthened
into Tropical Storm Debby later that day, and surprisingly strengthened at an alarming rate, reaching wind speeds of 70 mph
just hours later as it crossed over Martinique. This rapid organization was short-lived however, and Debby weakened after
reaching this intensity, and degenerated into an open tropical wave on September 10 due to rapidly increasing wind shear.
This wave, now quite strong, continued to press westward and caused heavy rains and blustery conditions over Hispaniola. Due
to the storm's effects in that region, a total of nine were killed. In St. Lucia, four of the nine deaths occurred as rain
caused landslides and flooding in the area. A total of 20,000 residents lost power there. In Martinique, some towns became
flooded and fallen trees blocked roads and caused additional power outages. In the Dominican Republic, rivers were flooded
and about 200-800 were left homeless.