Tropical Storm Beryl disintegrates as it zips to Caribbean
13 July, 2018, 02:24 | Author: Jacqueline Daniels
Tropical Storm Beryl is expected to bring heavy rainfall and gusty winds to Puerto Rico and other Caribbean islands - places still recovering from last year's deadly hurricanes - early in the coming week, National Hurricane Center forecasters said Sunday.
The Category 5 hurricane caused more than an estimated $100 billion in damage, killed dozens of people by the most conservative estimates and destroyed up to 75 percent of Puerto Rico's electricity transmission lines. The storm's center was expected to pass just south of the island.
Power outages also were reported Monday on the U.S. Virgin Island of St. Croix, where officials ordered schools and government offices closed.
Meteorologist Marshall Alexander told The Associated Press that officials were anxious about people still living with tarps on their roofs after Hurricane Maria.
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"We are in a vulnerable state", he said.
The hurricane center said Beryl's remnant had maximum sustained winds of 40 miles per hour (65 kph) late Sunday and was moving west-northwestward at 26 miles per hour (43 kph).
Elsewhere in the tropical Atlantic, Beryl - once a hurricane - has weakened substantially on approach to the Lesser Antilles. It said the system could still drop up to 2 to 3 inches (5 to eight 8) of rain, with as much as 5 inches (13 centimeters) in isolated spots.
On Monday, people were still buying water, batteries, candles and food there as the storm neared.
Flooding is a big concern for those still living in homes that have not been fully rebuilt since Maria.
Olga Herrera Carrasquillo and Ramon Llanos Arboleda, who live together in Humacao in the southeastern region of Puerto Rico, said FEMA installed a blue tarp over their roof to protect what little they had left.
"I don't know what we're going to do", she said.
Chris was stationary about 180 miles south-southeast of Cape Hatteras, N.C. with maximum sustained winds of 50 mph, according to the NHC 5 p.m. EDT advisory. Forecasters expected it to gain hurricane strength before moving up Gulf Stream waters on a path that could cause life-threatening surf along East Coast beaches this week. But Beryl, which had been the Atlantic season's first hurricane, disintegrated as a tropical storm shortly before reaching Dominica.
As of Monday afternoon, there were almost 13,000 power outages, a total that included customers who remain without service since Hurricane Maria last September, according to Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority.
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