Tropical Storm Erika appears to be less and less of a threat to coastal Georgia as time goes on.
In its advisory at 11 p.m. Friday, the National Hurricane Center said, “Weakening is forecast and Erika could become a tropical depressionon Saturday. There is a good possibility that Erika could evendegenerate into a trough of low pressure while it is moving over the high terrain of Hispaniola and eastern Cuba.”
At 11 p.m., the storm was soaking Hispaniola, the island that contains Haiti and the Dominican Republic. The center of the storm was about 40 miles west of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, and 145 miles southeast of the eastern tip of Cuba, the hurricane center said.
Erika had maximum sustained winds of 45 mph and was moving to the west-northwest at 20 mph.
Most of the Bahamas are under a tropical storm warning, and a tropical storm watch has been issued for Cuba’s eastern provinces and the northwestern Bahamas.
The hurricane center advises that interests elsewhere in eastern and central Cuba, the southern Florida Peninsula and the Florida Keys monitor Erika.
The storm’s cone of uncertainty includes nearly all of Georgia, but by the time hits Georgia — if indeed it does — it would be a tropical depression and arrive by Wednesday night, according to the hurricane center.
Even as the threat appears to diminish, Liberty County Emergency Services Coordinator Mike Hodges urged local residents, “Don’t drop your guard completely.”
“There will still be unsettled weather, wind, rain and the possibility of associated damage,” he said in an email Friday afternoon.
You can track the storm at www.nhc.noaa.gov. The National Hurricane Center posts updates on Erika’s latest condition, position and track at 5 and 11 a.m. and 5 and 11 p.m., with intermediate advisories at 2 and 8 a.m. and 2 and 8 p.m.