KINGSTON, Jamaica (AP) - Forecasters say the Category 4 storm could make a direct hit today with 145 mile per hour winds. The island could receive up to 20 inches of rain.
The government has urged people in danger-prone areas to move
into shelters. All the island's airports have been closed as of
last night, after a daylong scramble by tourists to get out. And
all businesses have been ordered shuttered until Tuesday.
The Atlantic storm season's first hurricane is expected to brush
the tip of the Yucatan Peninsula and enter the Gulf of Mexico Tuesday. And it could strike the U.S. mainland Wednesday, although forecasters say it's not possible yet to say where or even for sure that it will hit the U.S.
Meantime, areas of south Texas are taking no chances with Hurricane Dean.
The Texas coast remains a possible target for the Category 4 storm and residents near the Mexican border in Brownsville are already being asked to voluntarily evacuate.
In Edinburg, the Texas Youth Commission has been evacuating nearly 270 inmates and staff members to a facility about 400 miles to the north.
In the coastal city of Galveston, residents remember the disastrous evacuation before Hurricane Rita in 2005. Motorists from the coast ran into residents fleeing Houston, clogging evacuation routes for hours in sweltering heat with no fuel or supplies.
State officials say they've worked out the kinks, but some Galveston residents say they'd rather die in their homes than in a car on a highway.