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However, authorities said they have managed to evacuate nearly 2,900 people. The majority were transferred to the homes of relatives while about 300 were sent to government shelters.
Local forecasters said they expect the storm to dump up to 12 inches of rain through Saturday, causing possible flooding and landslides.
"That’s a lot of water," said Juan Manuel Mendez, emergency operations director. "The worst is yet to come."
Two airports in Santo Domingo reopened, although the country’s remaining seven airports remained closed, authorities said.
Blake, the U.S. forecaster, said that while Isaac hadn’t strengthened much in the Caribbean, it could gain power as it moves away from Cuba. "When it moves back over water, it has a chance to restrengthen," he said.
Commercial airlines, including American Airlines, canceled flights to and from the Dominican Republic, Haiti and Puerto Rico.
Organizers of next week’s Republican National Convention in Tampa said they were working closely with state and federal authorities on monitoring storm as they prepared for the arrival of 70,000 delegates, journalists and protesters, and Florida Gov. Rick Scott said there were no plans to cancel the convention.
Out in the eastern Atlantic, another tropical storm, Joyce, was downgraded to a tropical depression late Thursday, and posed no threat to land. The hurricane center in Miami said Joyce had maximum sustained winds of 35 mph and that it was becoming disorganized.
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