Beryl weakens to tropical storm en route to Caribbean - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Beryl weakens to tropical storm en route to Caribbean

"Tiny" Beryl became the first hurricane of the 2018 Atlantic season. (Source: CNN) "Tiny" Beryl became the first hurricane of the 2018 Atlantic season. (Source: CNN)

By DANICA COTO
Associated Press

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) - Beryl weakened to a tropical storm Saturday but was still expected to dump heavy rain over the Lesser Antilles at the end of the weekend on its way to the eastern Caribbean, bringing a new threat to islands still rebuilding from last year's storms.

A tropical storm warning was issued for Guadeloupe and Dominica, the latter still recovering after a battering by Hurricane Maria in September as a Category 5 storm. Dominica's meteorological service said weather conditions would start deteriorating Saturday night and warned of at least four inches of rain, with the storm expected to pass over or near Dominica on Sunday night.

Dominica Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit said in a public address that the storm's track and intensity could still change and urged people to remain alert. He also asked people to store water because he said the government would be shutting down the water system as a protective measure.

"They should not let their guard down," he said.

Officials in the French Caribbean island of Guadeloupe said people should prepare for high winds and dangerous waves.

A tropical storm watch was issued for the French Caribbean territories of Martinique, St. Martin and St. Barts as well as St. Maarten and the islands of Barbados, St. Lucia, Saba and St. Eustatius. Deeper into the Caribbean, a state of emergency was declared in Puerto Rico, where Maria caused estimated at more than $100 billion.

Beryl had become the first hurricane of the Atlantic season Friday, but it weakened to a tropical storm Saturday. The U.S. National Hurricane Center said Beryl's maximum sustained winds had lessened to 45 mph (75 kph) by late Saturday. It was centered 495 miles (795 kilometers) east-southeast of the Lesser Antilles and was moving west at 18 mph (30 kph).

People in the Caribbean were taking no chances. Long lines were reported outside grocery stores on Dominica, Puerto Rico and elsewhere as people bought food and water.

Among those stocking up was Sandra Whitcher, an owner of Coffeeriver Cottages in Dominica.

"Here's hoping it misses us," she told The Associated Press, adding that crews fortified the roofs on all seven cottages that survived Hurricane Maria. "I can't say I'm not scared, but I know we have prepared as much as we can possibly do."

Forecasters said Beryl was expected to weaken further after entering the Caribbean. It was expected to pass south of Puerto Rico on Monday as a tropical depression, but forecasters warned the storm-wracked U.S. territory could see up to 30 mph winds and heavy rains that could cause flooding and mudslides.

Meteorologist Ernesto Morales said two to four inches of rain was expected across Puerto Rico, with higher amounts in isolated areas.

Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rossello declared a state of emergency for the island and suspended work on Monday. The island's largest public university also announced it would close, along with all state parks, natural reserves and El Yunque rainforest, a popular site with tourists.

Rossello told reporters the island would probably experience power outages, given that its electricity grid has become more vulnerable since Hurricane Maria. He said, however, that the recovery should be quicker since there are more power restoration crews and equipment on the island now. More than 1,500 customers remain in the dark more than nine months after Maria.

The governor urged people without sturdy roofs to move in with relatives or a government shelter. He recently noted that some 60,000 people still have only tarps for roofs.

"This system has been quite unpredictable," he said.

Puerto Rico Health Secretary Rafael Rodriguez urged all those with serious health conditions, including diabetics, to seek shelter at health facilities, which have generators.

To the north, a tropical depression was in the Atlantic well off the North Carolina coast, and forecasters said there were no coastal watches or warnings in effect. The hurricane center said it would likely become a tropical storm Saturday night or Sunday and continue strengthening over the next few days while meandering at sea.

The storm was centered about 160 miles (260 kilometers) south of Cape Hatteras late Saturday afternoon, with maximum sustained winds of 35 mph (55 kph). It was stationary and only minimal movement was expected for the next few days.

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • National SportsMore>>

  • Russian women push back at shaming over World Cup dating

    Russian women push back at shaming over World Cup dating

    Sunday, July 15 2018 2:52 AM EDT2018-07-15 06:52:26 GMT
    Sunday, July 15 2018 3:39 PM EDT2018-07-15 19:39:43 GMT
    (AP Photo/Dmitri Lovetsky). English fans applaud their players after the third place match between England and Belgium at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the St. Petersburg Stadium in St. Petersburg, Russia, Saturday, July 14, 2018. Belgium defeats Englan...(AP Photo/Dmitri Lovetsky). English fans applaud their players after the third place match between England and Belgium at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the St. Petersburg Stadium in St. Petersburg, Russia, Saturday, July 14, 2018. Belgium defeats Englan...
    Hundreds of thousands of foreign men have flooded into Russia for the monthlong World Cup, setting off a fierce debate in the host nation about the roles and rights of women.
    Hundreds of thousands of foreign men have flooded into Russia for the monthlong World Cup, setting off a fierce debate in the host nation about the roles and rights of women.
  • Russia on a high as World Cup wraps; Putin's problems remain

    Russia on a high as World Cup wraps; Putin's problems remain

    Sunday, July 15 2018 11:02 AM EDT2018-07-15 15:02:54 GMT
    Sunday, July 15 2018 3:39 PM EDT2018-07-15 19:39:33 GMT
    (Yuri Kadobnov/Pool Photo via AP). Croatian President Kolinda Grabar Kitarovic, left, presents a T-shirt to Russian President Vladimir Putin during their meeting in the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, Sunday, July 15, 2018.(Yuri Kadobnov/Pool Photo via AP). Croatian President Kolinda Grabar Kitarovic, left, presents a T-shirt to Russian President Vladimir Putin during their meeting in the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, Sunday, July 15, 2018.
    The World Cup has bathed Russians and their country in a rosy light, but after the monthlong party ends and foreigners leave, President Vladimir Putin will be left with a pension crisis and unusually low ratings.
    The World Cup has bathed Russians and their country in a rosy light, but after the monthlong party ends and foreigners leave, President Vladimir Putin will be left with a pension crisis and unusually low ratings.
  • France wins 2nd World Cup title, beats Croatia 4-2

    France wins 2nd World Cup title, beats Croatia 4-2

    Sunday, July 15 2018 1:03 PM EDT2018-07-15 17:03:26 GMT
    Sunday, July 15 2018 3:30 PM EDT2018-07-15 19:30:17 GMT
    (AP Photo/Martin Meissner). France's Kylian Mbappe, front, celebrates after scoring his side's fourth goal during the final match between France and Croatia at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, Russia, Sunday, July 15, 2018.(AP Photo/Martin Meissner). France's Kylian Mbappe, front, celebrates after scoring his side's fourth goal during the final match between France and Croatia at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, Russia, Sunday, July 15, 2018.
    France won its second World Cup title by beating Croatia 4-2 in a match briefly interrupted by an on-field protest that Russian punk band Pussy Riot later took credit for.
    France won its second World Cup title by beating Croatia 4-2 in a match briefly interrupted by an on-field protest that Russian punk band Pussy Riot later took credit for.
  • National, world weatherWeather and disaster coverageMore>>

  • Firefighter killed in wildfire near Yosemite National Park

    Firefighter killed in wildfire near Yosemite National Park

    Saturday, July 14 2018 6:36 PM EDT2018-07-14 22:36:46 GMT
    Sunday, July 15 2018 8:51 AM EDT2018-07-15 12:51:22 GMT
    (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File). FILE - In this Aug. 26, 2013 file photo, a fire truck drives past burning trees as firefighters continue to battle the Rim Fire near Yosemite National Park, Calif. The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection ...(AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File). FILE - In this Aug. 26, 2013 file photo, a fire truck drives past burning trees as firefighters continue to battle the Rim Fire near Yosemite National Park, Calif. The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection ...

    The man worked through the night and was driving the bulldozer to cut a firebreak to keep the fire from extending into a nearby community, according to the fire chief.

    The man worked through the night and was driving the bulldozer to cut a firebreak to keep the fire from extending into a nearby community, according to the fire chief.

  • Man gets Sea-Doo back nearly 6 years after Hurricane Sandy

    Man gets Sea-Doo back nearly 6 years after Hurricane Sandy

    Wednesday, July 11 2018 3:55 PM EDT2018-07-11 19:55:24 GMT
    Saturday, July 14 2018 12:57 PM EDT2018-07-14 16:57:32 GMT
    A New Jersey man has been reunited with his Sea-Doo nearly six years after it was swept away in Hurricane Sandy.
    A New Jersey man has been reunited with his Sea-Doo nearly six years after it was swept away in Hurricane Sandy.
  • Flooding cancels hundreds of trips to coveted waterfalls

    Flooding cancels hundreds of trips to coveted waterfalls

    Friday, July 13 2018 2:12 AM EDT2018-07-13 06:12:18 GMT
    Saturday, July 14 2018 8:12 AM EDT2018-07-14 12:12:40 GMT
    (Benji Xie via AP). This Thursday, July 12, 2018 photo released by Benji Xie shows a helicopter landing to rescue people from flooding on the Havasupai reservation in Supai, Ariz. Rescue workers were evacuating about 200 tourists Thursday who were caug...(Benji Xie via AP). This Thursday, July 12, 2018 photo released by Benji Xie shows a helicopter landing to rescue people from flooding on the Havasupai reservation in Supai, Ariz. Rescue workers were evacuating about 200 tourists Thursday who were caug...
    A popular campground at the base of famous waterfalls near the Grand Canyon was inundated by a flash flood that sent tourists seeking higher ground in trees and caves.
    A popular campground at the base of famous waterfalls near the Grand Canyon was inundated by a flash flood that sent tourists seeking higher ground in trees and caves.
  • NationalMore>>

  • Police officer, bystander die from gunshot wounds

    Police officer, bystander die from gunshot wounds

    Sunday, July 15 2018 2:13 PM EDT2018-07-15 18:13:57 GMT
    Sunday, July 15 2018 3:40 PM EDT2018-07-15 19:40:11 GMT
    (Matt Stone/The Boston Herald via AP). Officers work at the scene where a Weymouth police officer was shot and critically wounded while in a foot chase with a suspect following a vehicle crash on Sunday, July 15, 2018, in Weymouth, Mass.(Matt Stone/The Boston Herald via AP). Officers work at the scene where a Weymouth police officer was shot and critically wounded while in a foot chase with a suspect following a vehicle crash on Sunday, July 15, 2018, in Weymouth, Mass.
    A Massachusetts police officer and bystander have been killed by gunfire during a foot chase with a suspect following a vehicle crash.
    A Massachusetts police officer and bystander have been killed by gunfire during a foot chase with a suspect following a vehicle crash.
  • US trade, immigration and biofuel policies hit farmers hard

    US trade, immigration and biofuel policies hit farmers hard

    Sunday, July 15 2018 12:07 PM EDT2018-07-15 16:07:54 GMT
    Sunday, July 15 2018 3:39 PM EDT2018-07-15 19:39:18 GMT
    (AP Photo/Nati Harnik). In this July 12, 2018 photo, farmer Don Bloss checks on the operation of an auger transferring corn on his farm in Pawnee City, Neb. Farmers and agricultural economists are worried that president Donald Trump’s trade, immigratio...(AP Photo/Nati Harnik). In this July 12, 2018 photo, farmer Don Bloss checks on the operation of an auger transferring corn on his farm in Pawnee City, Neb. Farmers and agricultural economists are worried that president Donald Trump’s trade, immigratio...
    Farmers and agricultural economists are worried that president Donald Trump's trade, immigration and biofuels policies will cost farms billions of dollars in lost income and force some out of business.
    Farmers and agricultural economists are worried that president Donald Trump's trade, immigration and biofuels policies will cost farms billions of dollars in lost income and force some out of business.
  • The Latest: Police say suspect shot third Kansas City cop

    The Latest: Police say suspect shot third Kansas City cop

    Sunday, July 15 2018 3:24 PM EDT2018-07-15 19:24:46 GMT
    Sunday, July 15 2018 3:35 PM EDT2018-07-15 19:35:07 GMT
    Authorities say a suspect in the non-fatal shooting of two Kansas City police officers shot a third officer who was searching for him and has barricaded himself inside of a home.
    Authorities say a suspect in the non-fatal shooting of two Kansas City police officers shot a third officer who was searching for him and has barricaded himself inside of a home.
Powered by Frankly