Tropical Storms Cause Rising Death Tolls

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Tropical Storms Cause Rising Death Tolls

NEW YORK -- On the heels of Hurricane Gustav, Tropical Storm Hanna battered Haiti, the Dominican Republic and the Bahamas, killing at least 19 people.

Florida Governor Charlie Crist declared a state of emergency as Hanna is expected to turn back to an easterly track later this week, reported Bloomberg News.

The storm is forecasted to hit South Carolina Friday, after passing along Florida’s Atlantic coastline. "Swells from Hanna are expected to increase the risk of dangerous rip currents along beaches in the southeastern U.S.," a Miami-based weather center representative told Bloomberg News.

As the eastern seaboard braces for Hanna, analysts are also following Tropical Storms Ike and Josephine, which are building momentum over the Atlantic. Ike is forecasted to reach north of Cuba’s easternmost tip by Sept. 7, while Josephine is currently west-southwest of the Cape Verde Islands.

While it’s still too soon to determine Ike’s path, Reuters reported the storm has drawn the attention of energy companies running the approximately 4,000 offshore platforms in the Gulf of Mexico, which provide the United States with a quarter of its crude oil and 15 percent of its natural gas.