Caribbean islands brace for weakened but risky Tropical Storm Beryl

Tropical Storm Beryl at the Caribbean's doorstep; Heavy rain forecast for Puerto Rico

Hurricane Chris is a weakening storm as it continues to cruise out to sea, the remnants of Beryl try to reorganize near the Bahamas.

More than nine months after Hurricane Maria, about 1,500 people in Puerto Rico are without power on the island; about 60,000 have only tarps for roofs.

Jaime Ruiz, a 54-year-old corrections officer who lives nearby, said Monday's storm was disrupting efforts to rebuild his home that was heavily damaged by Maria.

Gov. Ricardo Rossello said the government has opened 42 shelters for citizens to obtain relief from Beryl at the demand of mayors across the island. People on the island, as well as elsewhere in the region, had rushed to stock up on food and water and prepare for the threat of damaging winds, rains and waves.

"The entire government of Puerto Rico is on alert for the passage of Beryl's remnants, and heavy rain is expected in the local area", Ricardo Rossello, governor of the United States territory, wrote on Facebook yesterday.

"Tropical storm warnings and watches are in effect for portions of the Lesser Antilles, where Beryl is forecast to bring impacts from wind and rainfall to some of the islands beginning late today or tonight", the National Hurricane Center said in a statement.

The storm was expected to pass just south of Puerto Rico, which could see sustained winds of 15 to 25 miles per hour (25 to 40 kph) and gusts of up to 50 miles per hour (80 kph), forecasters said.

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Beryl is likely to result in rain accumulations of 2 to 3 inches in the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, and amounts in some areas could reach 5 inches. It wasn't projected to directly threaten land over the next few days, though forecasters said it could kick up risky surf and rip tides.

Dominican Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit told residents to store water because the government would shut down the water system as a precaution.

Marshall Alexander, with Dominica's Meteorological Service, told The Associated Press that no landslides or widespread flooding have been reported.

"I'm praying for all the brothers who are still living under a plastic roof", said Alfonso Lugo in the southeastern Puerto Rico town of Humacao.

Our dry, dome of high pressure lasts one more day, Thursday, before the flow at the surface flips out of the southwest Friday.

Lugo lost his roof and two walls to Maria and was waiting for volunteers to secure his new roof before Beryl. It was centered about 195 miles (315 kilometers) south-southeast of Cape Hatteras.

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