At least eight deaths in southern U.S. state of Texas were blamed on tropical storm Erin which has brought at least 6 inches (15 cm) of rain to the state since Thursday,

One person was killed and another was hurt when a waterlogged roof collapsed at a Houston grocery store when Erin hit Texas Thursday, the Texas-based KPRC-TV reported on Friday.

©Josh Carrol
Flooded Houston. Thursday, August 16, 2007.

In San Antonio, at least four deaths were blamed on Erin on the same day.

The storm was also blamed on a multi-vehicle crash in Comal County that left three people dead and one person critically injured on Thursday.

Even as they fetched dozens of drivers stranded by high water, authorities in Houston and San Antonio looked over their shoulders at Hurricane Dean, which is building up in the Atlantic as it neared islands in the eastern Caribbean.

Hurricane warnings were issued for some islands, and a tropical storm watch was issued for the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.

Forecasters predict west Texas may see up to 7 inches (18 cm) of rain before the end of Friday.