Tropical Storm Philippe pelts northeast Caribbean
Heavy rains force schools to close
SAN JUAN (AP):
Tropical storm Philippe dropped heavy rains in the northeast Caribbean on Tuesday, forcing governments to close schools in the region as forecasters warned of flash flooding.
The storm was located about 55 miles (90 kilometres) northeast of St Thomas on Tuesday afternoon and had winds of up to 45 mph (75 kph). Philippe made landfall in Barbuda late Monday and was moving northwest at 10 mph (17 kph), according to the National Hurricane Centre in Miami.
A tropical storm watch was in effect for the British Virgin Islands. Forecasters warned that the strongest winds and rains would be felt by islands located south of the storm’s centre as Philippe moves north of the Leeward Islands on Tuesday.
Officials in the twin-island nation of Antigua and Barbuda closed schools and government offices, while those in the French Caribbean territories of St Martin and St Barts closed schools.
Meanwhile, officials in Guadeloupe said the storm knocked power out to 2,500 customers and left several communities without running water. It also forced two road closures and left one community isolated as crews worked to reopen roads.
Philippe is expected to turn north-northwest late Tuesday and then take a path north into open waters on Wednesday.
Forecasters said between 4 to 8 inches (10 to 20 centimetres) of rain was expected from Anguilla south to Montserrat, including St Kitts and Nevis and the British Virgin Islands, with a maximum of 12 inches (30 centimetres). Up to 4 inches (10 centimetres) was expected for the remaining Leeward Islands and the northern Windward Islands, as well as the US Virgin Islands and northeast Puerto Rico.