Weather - KOAA

Nov 1, 2010 8:22 AM by Bea Karnes, News First 5

Tomas now tropical storm, expected to strengthen

KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent (AP) - Tomas has now weakened to a tropical storm, but not before tearing off roofs and bringing down power lines in the eastern Caribbean.

Forecasters say the storm could regain strength and head toward Haiti, which still hasn't recovered from a powerful earthquake earlier this year.

Tomas has maximum sustained winds of 65 mph, slightly weaker than a hurricane.

The National Hurricane Center in Miami says Tomas will probably weaken more during the next 24 hours as it continues to move away from land, but it could get stronger around the middle of the week and then head north toward Haiti.

That could be disastrous for the island nation, where some 1.3 million people are living under tarps and tents after January's quake. And a cholera epidemic has killed more than 330 and hospitalized nearly 5,000.

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