Lisa Varano, staff writer
November 2, 2010 — After lashing the Caribbean islands as a hurricane over the weekend, Tomas was downgraded to a tropical storm. Now the storm has its sights set on Haiti, which has residents and emergency workers preparing for the worst.
TROPICAL STORM TOMAS
Tomas lashed the Caribbean islands as a hurricane over the weekend. St. Lucia, St. Vincent and Barbados all felt strong winds and heavy rain.
Tomas strengthened to a Category two storm on Sunday, packing 155 km/h maximum sustained winds, with higher gusts. But later in the day, it dropped back down to a Category one storm with 120 km/h winds.
Tomas weakened even further on Monday, becoming a tropical storm during the morning hours. It's expected to remain a tropical storm until Thursday and could then pick up steam again and intensify into a Category two hurricane again on Friday.
Based on the current storm track, Tomas is moving towards Haiti by the end of the week and is expected to impact mostly the western parts of the country. A devastating earthquake hit the area in January leaving millions of people homeless. And now emergency organizations like the Canadian Red Cross are preparing for the destruction that Tomas could bring.
“The country is vulnerable and the people are very vulnerable,” says Karen Charles with the Canadian Red Cross. “We're just starting to get things rebuilt like homes, latrines, their way of life. And so this tropical storm if it should hit their country will have devastating impact.”
BUSY ATLANTIC HURRICANE SEASON
Since the beginning of June, there have been 19 named storms -- 12 of which became hurricanes. Five of the hurricanes became major hurricanes (Category Three or above).
Only two names are left on the 2010 list of tropical storm names for the Atlantic. Subsequent storms would take names from the Greek alphabet, beginning with Alpha. The hurricane season ends on November 30.
Hurricane Igor was a notable storm this year. Igor hit Newfoundland and was described as the province's worst storm ever. But first, it pummeled Bermuda, and The Weather Network's Storm Hunter witnessed the damage.
With files from Andrea Stockton and Lyndsay Morrison