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Tropical Storm Gustav takes aim at Haiti, Dominican Republic

  • Story Highlights
  • NEW: Gustav could reach hurricane strength before landfall, predict forecasters
  • Tropical storm could produce more than 2 feet of rain in areas, says weather advisory
  • Gustav had maximum sustained winds near 60 mph, says National Hurricane Center
  • Hurricane warnings were in effect for parts of the Dominican Republic and Haiti
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(CNN) -- Tropical Storm Gustav continued on its path toward Haiti and the central Caribbean on Monday and threatened to reach hurricane strength before landfall, the National Hurricane Center said.

A police officer rides through a flooded street caused by rain from Tropical Storm Gustav in Santo Domingo.

The hurricane center warned the storm could produce more than 2 feet of rain in some areas.

At 5 p.m. ET, Gustav had maximum sustained winds near 60 mph, the hurricane center said in an advisory. It was centered 180 miles (290 kilometers) south-southeast of Port Au Prince, Haiti.

"Gustav is moving toward the northeast near 14 mph," the advisory said. "The center of Gustav will be moving near or over Haiti on Tuesday. Gustav could become a hurricane prior to moving over the land."

Hurricane warnings were in effect for parts of the Dominican Republic and Haiti -- meaning hurricane conditions were expected in the warning area within 24 hours.

Gustav is expected to produce up to 6 inches of rain over Hispaniola, "with isolated maximum amounts of 25 inches possible," the hurricane center advisory said.

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Parts of Haiti and the Dominican Republic were battered less than two weeks ago by Tropical Storm Fay. At least 10 people died in Haiti as the storm swept through.

Gustav is the seventh named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season.

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