SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic - Tropical Storm Noel brought heavy rain and flooding to the Dominican Republic on Monday and officials said at least 20 people had died.

At least 20 other people were reported missing from the storm, which lashed Hispaniola, the island the country shares with Haiti, said Ramon Franco of the Dominican emergency services agency.

Noel was expected to drop as much as 20 inches of rain on Hispaniola before heading northwest toward the Bahamas.

Schools and shops closed throughout the Dominican Republic and many roads were impassable. Communication was cut between many small towns and the capital and authorities said the death toll could grow.

In Haiti, there were no immediate reports of casualties.