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Power outages hit Dominican Republic as TS Fred weakens

Photo: SJ Obijo
Photo: SJ Obijo

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — Tropical Storm Fred has weakened to a tropical depression while sweeping over the Dominican Republic and dumping heavy rains that forecasters warn could cause dangerous flooding and mudslides there and in neighboring Haiti.

Some 300,000 customers in the Dominican Republic are without power Wednesday night, and government officials say more than a half million have been affected by swollen rivers that forced part of the aqueduct system to shut down.

The forecast track would take the storm near Florida by the weekend.

Forecasters say Fred is expected to become a tropical storm again Thursday as it moves near the southeastern Bahamas.

Danielle Prieur covers education in Central Florida.