Puerto Ricans prepare as storm nears Caribbean


The seasonal average is 12 named storms, six to seven hurricanes, three to four of which are major.

Beryl is due to reach that zone sometime late Sunday, the hurricane center said, at which point it's likely to weaken into a tropical depression. Still, a Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for Dominica and Guadaloupe, and a Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for Barbados, Martinique, St. Martin, and St. Barthelemy, Saba and St. Eustatius and St. Maarte.

A separate system, Tropical Storm Chris, lingered off the Atlantic Coast on Sunday and is expected to remain in place for several days, according to forecasters. Forecasters said it posed no immediate threat to land and would likely become a tropical storm by Sunday before beginning moving farther out into the Atlantic on Tuesday.

Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rossello said in a press conference late Saturday that the island could experience power outages and urged people without sturdy roofs to move in with relatives or a government shelter.

Beryl was the second named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season, and the first hurricane. Some 60,000 people still have only tarps for roofs.

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The hurricane centre said the storm still had maximum sustained winds of 45 miles per hour (75 kph) late Sunday afternoon.

In explaining the changed forecast, they note that the tropical Atlantic is much colder than normal. Forecasters believe that additional strengthening is in store for Chris, and the storm is expected to become a hurricane by mid-week.

Lugo lost his roof and two walls to Maria and was waiting for volunteers to secure his new roof before Beryl. It was expected to remain nearly stationary over the next few days before growing to hurricane force and moving to the northeast.

Now, it's moving west-northwest at 23 mph with 45 mph sustained winds that extend 45 miles from the storm's center, still described as "disorganized". While Tropical Storm Chris is not expected to directly impact land over the next few days, rough surf and unsafe rip currents will continue to impact coastal areas of the Carolinas, mid-Atlantic and the Northeast through much of this week. Environmental conditions appear conducive for some development of this system, and a tropical depression could form before the end of the week, but the system is expected to move west-northwestward and then northward between Bermuda and the east coast of the United States, away from the territory.