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Isaac Lashes Cuba & Dominican Republic

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Local residents stay under the rain in Enriquillo, southwestern Dominican Republic on August 24, 2012.  (Photo credit  ERIKA SANTELICES/AFP/GettyImages)

Local residents stay under the rain in Enriquillo, southwestern Dominican Republic on August 24, 2012. (Photo credit ERIKA SANTELICES/AFP/GettyImages)

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CUBA (CBSMiami) – More than a thousand people were evacuated in Cuba Saturday due to Tropical Storm Isaac, according to Cuban TV.

The storm is hugging the northern coastline of eastern Cuba Saturday night and should exit Cuba on Sunday before moving south of the Florida Keys and into the Gulf.

Cuba declared a state of alert Friday for six provinces, according to a Civil Defense announcement read on the afternoon news, and five central provinces were put on preliminary watch. Vacationers in tourist installations of those regions were evacuated. Flights were suspended and beaches were closed.

Radio Baracoa, from the city of Baracoa on the northern coast of eastern Cuba, reported that high seas began topping the city’s seawall Friday night. Reports said lower than normal rains had left reservoirs well below capacity and in good shape to absorb runoff.

Cuba has a highly organized civil defense system that goes door-to-door to enforce evacuations of at-risk areas, largely averting casualties from storms even when they cause major flooding and significant damage to crops.

In the Dominican Republic, Isaac felled power and phone lines and left at least a dozen towns cut off by flood waters. Nearly one million people were without power, emergency officials said.

The most severe damage was reported along the south coast, including the capital Santo Domingo.

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Here’s how to use the CBS4 site to prepare for and monitor Isaac:

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