Tropical Storm Chris expected to strengthen, Beryl may re-form

Video Carlisle Jno Baptiste

Video Carlisle Jno Baptiste

HUMACAO, Puerto Rico - Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands were hit by power outages and widespread flooding Monday as remnants of the Atlantic season's first hurricane provided an initial test of how far they have recovered from last year's devastating storms. The storm's remnants crossed directly over the island with top sustained winds of 40 miles per hour (65 kph), and was expected to drop up to 3 inches (8 centimetres) of rain, with as much as 5 inches (13 centimetres) in isolated spots.

Thousands of Puerto Ricans lost power Monday as driving rains from the remnants of Tropical Storm Beryl neared the island, which was devastated by Hurricane Maria 10 months ago.

While increasing in strength, the storm is forecast to remain far enough offshore that its wind and rain avoid the Mid-Atlantic coastline.

However, the NHC said this might not be the end of Beryl.

In the U.S. Virgin Islands, all schools in St. Croix were closed because of the storms, the St. Croix Source reported.

The remnants of Hurricane Beryl are causing power outages in Puerto Rico, where officials have been scrambling for months to fix the devastation caused by last year's Hurricane Maria. The hurricane will cause 'rough seas and rip currents' along the coast of the Carolinas and mid-Atlantic Beaches through Tuesday and Wednesday.

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Tropical Storm Chris continued to meander just off the Carolina coast on Monday, the hurricane center said.

Tropical storm watch was also in effect for Martinique, Guadeloupe, St. Martin, St. Barts, Barbados, St. Lucia, Saba and St. Eustatius.

The Canadian Hurricane Centre will begin to issue regular bulletins on Tropical Storm Chris beginning Monday evening.

Weather conditions are expected to gradually improve on Tuesday. Puerto Rico, which was devastated by Hurricane Maria in September, remains under a state of emergency.

The National Weather Service warned of thunderstorms in addition to rainfall and strong winds, and residents in San Juan, Trujillo Alto, Loiza, Carolina, Canovanas, Guaynabo, Bayamon, Cataño were issued a flash flood warning lasting until 4:45 p.m. It would become a Category 1 hurricane when speeds reach 74 miles per hour.

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