If you can’t get a hold of me, this is the reason why…Noel! Don’t worry, though…it’s not as bad in the north. We are just getting plenty of rain, but it is causing a lot of telecommuncation issues here. The following is news about the storm. Please be in prayer! Also, I am disappointed that this storm is not allowing the great people from Crosstown to come for their pre-trip. The bridges to Barahona are completely out and progress will be slow. Here’s the latest:

The Emergency Operations Center (COE) reports that at least 15 people have died as a result of winds and torrential rainfall brought by the large and slow-moving Tropical Storm Noel. Thirteen people are reported missing. Other reports indicate that as many as 21 people may be dead, and the number of people missing may be as high as 33. A red alert warning is still in effect for the National District and the province of Santo Domingo, Barahona, and others, while a yellow alert is still in affect for Santiago, Puerto Plata, and others. Diario Libre estimates that 3,295 people have been displaced from their homes, with about 2,855 staying with other family members and 1,010 finding refuge at government shelters. The rains, which have been falling since Friday, have been relentlessly heavy and are expected to continue through Wednesday, according to ONAMET. Newspaper reports tell of major damage to the Bani highway, as a result of the Nizao River flooding. Hoy reports that at least 20 bridges across the country have been affected by the storms leaving many cities cut off from rescue efforts. The bridges over the Yuna and Yoboa rivers in Bonao, Maimon in Piedra Blanca and Madre Vieja Sur in San Cristobal were all affected by the storm, making transit almost impossible. Residents of riverside communities were worst affected by flooding. The Ministry of Education has announced the suspension of primary and secondary school classes until Wednesday due to the torrential rains. Some public schools are being used to shelter the families that were evacuated from flooded areas. The state university also ordered its regional campuses to shut down until Wednesday. Hoy is reporting that the strong winds and rains of TS Noel have damaged rice, banana, plantain, onion and cassava crops in the DR. Agriculture Minister Salvador Jimenez said that flooding also affected sweet potatoes and other vegetables in several regions. Plantations in Azua, San Juan, Barahona, Monsenor Nouel, Sanchez Ramirez, La Vega and San Jose de Ocoa have been affected by the storm. Listin Diario quotes Jimenez saying that 95% of these crops have been ruined and that the losses will amount to millions.

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