Karen exits Caribbean after causing flooding, power outages


SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — Authorities in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands reported limited power outages, flooding and landslides as Tropical Storm Karen swirled away from the northeast Caribbean early Wednesday.

Some schools and government offices were expected to reopen in the region with the exception of those in St. John in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Ernesto Morales, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service’s San Juan office, said heavy rains would keep affecting Puerto Rico’s southern and eastern region until shortly before dawn on Wednesday.

“It’s not the moment to lower your guard,” he warned.

Crews also temporarily closed some coastal roads in southeastern Puerto Rico that became flooded after Karen hit the island on Tuesday, leaving up to 29,000 customers without power at one point. An island-wide outage was reported in neighboring St. Thomas Tuesday morning, followed by smaller outages later that afternoon.

Forecasters warned of more rain showers for Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands throughout Wednesday, but those were expected to dissipate by Thursday as Karen headed north. The U.S. National Hurricane Center said it was expected to stay well east of the Bahamas, which was hit by Hurricane Dorian on Sept. 1.

Karen was located about 155 miles north northeast of San Juan early Wednesday and was moving north at 14 mph. It had maximum sustained winds increased in the afternoon to 45 mph, with some strengthening expected in upcoming days. Karen will continue to move farther away from Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands today through Thursday.

Meanwhile, Jerry, has become a post-tropical cyclone and was expected to pass near Bermuda on Wednesday morning. It was about 185 miles west of Bermuda and had sustained winds of 45 mph as it moved north-northeast at 7 mph.

In addition, Lorenzo has become the fifth Atlantic hurricane of the season and was projected to become a major hurricane by the end of the week, although it is not expected to affect the Caribbean. It was centered about 640 miles southwest of the southernmost Cape Verde Islands and had maximum sustained winds of 80 mph. It was heading west-northwest at 17 mph.

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