Hurricane Dean picked up strength in the Caribbean as forecasters upgraded it to a major category four storm with winds of 232 km per hour.
Mexican officials on Friday declared a state of emergency in the Caribbean region.
The centre of the storm had passed south of the Virgin Islands, the National Hurricane Centre in Florida reported. The Dominican Republic and Guadeloupe were still under hurricane warning, the centre said.
Earlier in the day, Dean blew between the islands of Saint Lucia and Martinique.
The remnants of another tropical storm, Erin, pummelled the US state of Texas causing floods. Seven people died in storm-related accidents in Texas on Thursday, the Houston Chronicle newspaper reported.
Up to 24 cm of rain had fallen in San Antonio and Houston, the Weather Channel reported.