October 14, 2012 in Nation/World

Tropical Storm Rafael hits Caribbean

Associated Press

CHARLOTTE AMALIE, U.S. Virgin Islands – Tropical Storm Rafael lashed the eastern Caribbean with heavy rains, raising the threat of floods on islands around the region.

The storm was centered about 95 miles east-northeast of St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands last Saturday. It had top sustained winds of 50 mph.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center said the storm was expected to gain some strength and could become a hurricane by late Monday. Forecasters said the storm was on a northward trek and was expected to turn toward the north-northwest today.

As a result of the storm, Cape Air and regional carrier LIAT canceled flights Saturday that had been scheduled to leave from Puerto Rico’s main international airport. The Carnival Victory cruise ship also canceled a stop in St. Maarten on Saturday.

Flooding was reported in the eastern Caribbean island of Trinidad, where the storm caused a brief power outage at the island’s main international airport late Friday.

A tropical storm warning remained in effect for the U.S. Virgin Islands, the British Virgin Islands, Anguilla, Barbuda, St. Kitts, Nevis, Antigua, Montserrat, St. Maartin and Guadeloupe, among other places.

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