Hurricane Sandy strikes Jamaica, floods roads, knocks down trees

(CNN) -- Hurricane Sandy made landfall in southeastern Jamaica on Wednesday, bringing 80-mph wind and torrents of rain to the island, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said on its website.

The storm made landfall near Kingston about 3 p.m. ET, the center said.

Even before landfall, trees had fallen and streets became flooded in Kingston.

Schools and businesses were closed before the storm arrived and some residents were moved to shelters.

"We have blankets, we have cots, to come to give to people and make them comfortable and sometimes we give them clothes, because sometimes they come in and they are wet and they don't have anything to put on so we provide clothes for them," said shelter manager Yvonne Nelson.
 
Sandy is expected to reach eastern Cuba by early Thursday before heading to the Bahamas. Tropical storm and hurricane warnings are up across the region.

Sandy is not expected to hit the United States, though there is a tropical storm watch for the Florida coast from the Volusia/Brevard county line to Craig Key.

Such a watch means tropical storm conditions are possible within the watch area in the next 48 hours.

RTV/NBC NewsChannel contributed to this report
 
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