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Tropical storm Chantal soaks Dominican Republic

Tropical storm Chantal soaks Dominican Republic

by Reuters

Tropical Storm Chantal dumps heavy rains on Dominican Republic as it weakens near Haiti. 

Tropical Storm Chantal soaked the Caribbean coast of the Dominican Republican on Wednesday despite weakening considerably as it moved south of Haiti and the cyclone appeared to be falling apart, U.S. forecasters said.

The Miami-based National Hurricane Center said the projected path of the storm shifted, with Chantal forecast to veer westward and avoid passing over Haiti and the Dominican Republic.

Chantal, the third named storm of the 2013 Atlantic hurricane season, never posed a threat to U.S. oil and gas operations in the Gulf of Mexico.

Forecasters said the storm was expected to be downgraded from a tropical storm by early Thursday. It is forecast to move between Jamaica and Haiti on Wednesday and then cut across central Cuba as a tropical depression.

Tropical storm warnings were still in effect on Wednesday for the Dominican Republic and Haiti and also for Turks and Caicos and the southeastern Bahamas.