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Power outages, flooding hits Puerto Rico, USVI amid storms

Storm watch

"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.

Gov. Ricardo Rossello says the rains are likely to continue for another 10 to 12 hours, hitting hardest in the east.

By Tuesday, the storm is forecast to degenerate but could still produce some gusty winds and heavy rain over Puerto Rico and Hispaniola.

HUMACAO, Puerto Rico (AP) - 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 local Electric Power Authority reported on Facebook that more than 13,000 customers were without service, including those who still do not have power after Hurricane Maria, which struck on its path through the Caribbean last September. Saturday looks to be warm and humid with afternoon storms as well, but some more dry air filters in Sunday. Rossello, who said the island could experience power outages, urged people without sturdy roofs to move in with relatives or a government shelter. Hurricane Maria destroyed Puerto Rico's electrical grid and caused the deaths of an untold number of people.

The U.S. Virgin Islands, meanwhile, announced that schools and government offices would be closed in St. Croix.

Beryl was the second named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season, and the first hurricane.

Meteorologist Marshall Alexander told The Associated Press that officials were anxious about those living with tarps on their roofs after Maria slammed into Dominica as a Category 5 storm previous year, killing dozens of people. On average, the third storm forms August 13, said Phil Klotzbach, a tropical weather researcher at Colorado State University and Capital Weather Gang contributor. It was located about 208 miles east of Martinique, packing maximum sustained winds of 45mph, the NHC said on Sunday.

"I don't know what we're going to do", she said.

Meanwhile, Tropical Storm Chris was squatting on Monday about 215 miles (345 kilometers) off the coast of the Carolinas. It was far enough out to sea that no coastal watches or warnings were in effect, even for the closest point of land, Cape Hatteras, North Carolina.