SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic – Tropical Storm Odette (search) dissipated Sunday over the Atlantic after lashing the Dominican Republic (search) with torrential rains, prompting thousands to flee their homes and leaving at least two dead.
Ondina Guzman, 58, was locked inside her home and drowned early Sunday in the rising floodwaters, said Vice Adm. Radhames Lora Salcedo, chief of the National Emergency Commission.
Her son reportedly left her there with a lock on the door and went out for drinks in San Cristobal (search), some 15 miles west of Santo Domingo. It wasn't immediately clear if authorities planned to charge him.
Police also said a 41-year-old Dominican, Jose Manuel Disla, was killed when he was riding a motorcycle on the outskirts of Santo Domingo and fell into a swollen creek Saturday night.
The storm dumped up to 7 inches of rain in southern areas, said Pedro Garcia Marion, an official in the Dominican weather office.
The storm crossed the Dominican Republic overnight, and by 11 a.m. local time, its remnants were merging with a cold front about 150 miles east of Grand Turk in the Turks and Caicos Islands, the U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami said.
A U.S. reconnaissance plane found the storm had become a low pressure system. It was moving to the northeast at about 25 mph, still carrying winds of about 45 mph with higher gusts.
The hurricane center discontinued its storm advisories, and storm warnings were dropped.
Odette was unusual because it formed Thursday, four days after the official end to the Atlantic hurricane season. The first named storm on record to form in the Caribbean in December, Odette was initially forecast to dump up to 15 inches of rain on parts of the Dominican Republic and neighboring Haiti.
It was packing 65-mph winds when it hit land on the Dominican south coast Saturday night.
Dominican officials evacuated more than 10,000 people from low-lying southwestern areas before Odette made landfall on the south coast Saturday night, said Julian Pena, governor of Barahona province.
It was the second time in less than a month that heavy rains forced Dominicans from their homes.
Three weeks ago, storms soaked the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico, overflowing river banks and causing landslides and flash floods that killed seven people and forced thousands to flee. More than 2,000 Dominicans were evacuated, and some remain homeless.