Hurricane Dean hits eastern Caribbean islands

Hurricane Dean roared through small Caribbean islands Friday, tearing away roofs, flooding streets and killing three people as the powerful storm muscled its way across the eastern Caribbean on a collision course with Jamaica and Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula. The first hurricane of the Atlantic Season grew into a Category 3 storm Friday afternoon after crossing into the warm waters of the Caribbean and is forecast to develop into a monster storm with 150 mph winds before hitting the Yucatan and passing into the Gulf of Mexico, where 4,000 oil and gas platforms are located. By Wednesday, it could be threatening the United States, and Texas Gov. Rick Perry's spokeswoman suggested folks get ready. In tiny St. Lucia, fierce winds tore corrugated metal roofs from dozens of homes and the pediatric ward of a hospital, whose patients had been evacuated hours earlier. Police spokeswoman Tamara Charles said a 62-year-old man was swept away and drowned when he tried to retrieve a cow from a rain-swollen river.