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Cristobal's pelting rains lash southeast Bahamas

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By The Associated Press
Sunday, Aug. 24, 2014, 6:03 p.m.

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic — Slow-moving Tropical Storm Cristobal lashed parts of the Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands with heavy rainfall and white-crested surf after swollen rivers swept at least three people away on the Caribbean island shared by the Dominican Republic and Haiti.

In the Dominican Republic, a man drowned when he tried to drive his pickup across a rushing river in Hato Mayor, a province northeast of the capital of Santo Domingo. Juan Manuel Mendez, the country's emergency operations director, said the death was because of the “regrettable recklessness of this driver.”

In neighboring Haiti, authorities were looking for two residents reported swept away late Saturday by a river that burst its banks in the western port town of St. Marc. “We're still looking for the bodies,” said Luckecy Mathieu, a civil protection coordinator.

The National Hurricane Center in Miami said Cristobal may strengthen into a hurricane on Wednesday while over the open waters of the Atlantic. The storm's center was expected to curve away from the East Coast.

The tropical storm had sustained winds near 45 mph and was about 145 miles east-northeast of the Bahamas' Long Island early Sunday afternoon.

The slow-moving storm was tracking north at about 7 mph. U.S. forecasters said there should be a decrease in forward speed over the next couple of days, meaning Cristobal's center is expected to move near to or east of the central Bahamas through Monday.

A tropical storm warning was in effect for the Turks and Caicos Islands and for the southeast and central Bahamas, with forecasters saying it could bring up to 8 inches of rain to the islands through Tuesday.

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