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Coastal Georgia officials urge residents to plan ahead as Tropical Storm Erika approaches US

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SAVANNAH, Georgia — Emergency officials on the Georgia coast are urging residents to start preparing for possible trouble from Tropical Storm Erika.

The Chatham County Emergency Management Agency on Thursday said Savannah-area residents should have disaster supply kits and evacuation plans ready in case Erika threatens the southern East Coast next week.

On Thursday the storm was dumping heavy rain on the tiny Caribbean island of Dominica while moving west toward Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands with maximum sustained winds of 50 mph.

The National Hurricane Center in Miami says Erika has the potential to strengthen into a hurricane and there's a chance it could reach Florida by Monday. However, forecasters say they are "unusually uncertain" as to how powerful the storm will become or what path it will follow.

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