Hurricane Beryl may weaken, but Puerto Rico and the Caribbean are on alert

People wait in line outside a Costco in Bayamon, Puerto Rico. (CNN Photo)

The year's first Atlantic hurricane could reach eastern Caribbean islands by late Sunday at or near hurricane strength, putting a string of islands stung by last year's devastating hurricanes on alert.

Posted: Jul 7, 2018 9:45 AM

(CNN) -- The year's first Atlantic hurricane could reach eastern Caribbean islands by late Sunday at or near hurricane strength, putting a string of islands stung by last year's devastating hurricanes on alert.

Hurricane Beryl on Saturday morning churned over the tropical Atlantic with sustained winds of 75 mph -- near the low end of Category 1 status -- about 780 miles east-southeast of the Lesser Antilles, the arc of islands extending from the US Virgin Islands to Grenada.

Beryl could weaken to a tropical storm before it hits some of those islands late Sunday or early Monday, the National Hurricane Center said. And on its current track, Beryl's center would pass south of Puerto Rico, whipping the island with minimal tropical storm-force winds, forecasters said.

Still, Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rossello has declared a state of emergency for the island that is still recovering from the devastation of Hurricanes Maria and Irma last year.

"While we don't expect a direct hit to take place on Puerto Rico, even some of those outer bands ... have the potential to knock out power" on the US territory, where Maria triggered months of power outages, CNN meteorologist Allison Chinchar said.

Rossello encouraged residents living in homes with roofs covered by blue tarps to find refuge in shelters or family members' homes.

'People are very aware'

News of Beryl's approach has been enough for Puerto Ricans to flock to stores to stock up on water and dry goods.

Frances Colon, a Miami resident who is on the island for a wedding, shared a photo Friday morning of a line of people that spread to the parking lot of a Costco in the city of Bayamón.

"People are very aware, and they want to be prepared," Colon said.

Weather watches were in effect at 8 a.m. ET Saturday, along Beryl's expected path.

A hurricane watch is in effect in Dominica, and tropical storm watches are in place in Barbados, St. Lucia, Martinique, Guadeloupe, St. Martin and St. Barthelemy, according to the National Hurricane Center.

It appeared Beryl was becoming less organized Saturday morning, suggesting it could be downgraded to a tropical storm later Saturday, the hurricane center said.

Still, "Beryl could ... be near hurricane strength as it nears the Lesser Antilles" late Sunday or early Monday, the center said.

Earlier, the hurricane center had described the storm as "Tiny Beryl" because of "its very small size." Hurricane-force winds extended only 10 miles from the storm's center on Saturday morning.

Storm brewing off the Carolina coast

Meanwhile, another storm, Tropical Depression 3, was crawling over the Atlantic roughly 145 miles off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. The storm is "expected to meander off the coasts of the Carolinas for the next several days," and is expected to become a tropical storm Sunday, the hurricane center said Saturday morning.

No watches or warnings for that storm had been issued.

The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30, and peaks from mid-August to late-October.

The year's first named storm, Alberto, hit in late May. It made landfall on the Florida Panhandle as a subtropical storm and ushered drenching rains across states in the South and Midwest. At least five people died in incidents related to that storm.

TM & © 2018 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

Terre Haute
Clear
69° wxIcon
Hi: 69° Lo: 41°
Feels Like: 69°
Robinson
Clear
70° wxIcon
Hi: 72° Lo: 41°
Feels Like: 70°
Indianapolis
Clear
65° wxIcon
Hi: 66° Lo: 43°
Feels Like: 65°
Rockville
Clear
67° wxIcon
Hi: 67° Lo: 38°
Feels Like: 67°
Casey
Clear
68° wxIcon
Hi: 67° Lo: 41°
Feels Like: 68°
Brazil
Clear
69° wxIcon
Hi: 67° Lo: 40°
Feels Like: 69°
Marshall
Clear
69° wxIcon
Hi: 70° Lo: 40°
Feels Like: 69°
Sunny & Seasonable
WTHI Planner
WTHI Temps
WTHI Radar

Latest Video

Image

Sunday: Sunny and seasonable. High: 68°

Image

Saturday Night: Clear, chilly. Low: 39°

Image

Rose Steamrolls Anderson at Home

Image

Northview's Season Comes to an End at Owen Valley

Image

Linton Volleyball Claims First Sectional Since 2017

Image

Bloomfield Volleyball Wins Fourth Straight Sectional Title

Image

Flu Season is Back

Image

Saturday: Sunny, breezy and much cooler. High: 62°

Image

Parke Heritage Fountain Central

Image

North Vermillion Wins a Close One Over Seeger

WTHI Events

 

Illinois Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 7 p.m. CT)

Cases: 1665777

Reported Deaths: 27840
CountyCasesDeaths
Cook63126111168
DuPage1074651374
Will906981118
Lake795261076
Kane68004866
Winnebago40745559
Madison39883590
St. Clair36147591
McHenry34415322
Champaign26859196
Peoria26749368
Sangamon25613284
McLean22871216
Tazewell20525330
Rock Island18699358
Kankakee17795247
Kendall16104113
Macon15222250
LaSalle14954285
Vermilion14202198
Adams13072152
DeKalb12078133
Williamson11998174
Whiteside8247181
Jackson806594
Boone787583
Coles7843121
Ogle752487
Grundy731786
Franklin7276114
Knox7197169
Clinton7095102
Macoupin6893104
Marion6871143
Henry659876
Effingham655499
Jefferson6492142
Livingston594697
Stephenson577592
Woodford573592
Randolph552399
Christian530382
Monroe5236100
Fulton521674
Morgan503899
Logan492574
Montgomery487680
Lee476960
Bureau441189
Saline431769
Perry430375
Fayette428964
Iroquois418177
McDonough372360
Shelby343147
Jersey334253
Crawford330830
Lawrence329932
Douglas324737
Union305448
Wayne299961
White278533
Richland278457
Hancock271935
Clark264939
Cass264730
Pike262658
Clay257354
Edgar255249
Bond255024
Warren242765
Ford242259
Carroll235638
Moultrie228833
Johnson223831
Wabash216619
Jo Daviess214529
Massac213748
Mason211652
Washington211428
Greene204540
De Witt204230
Mercer202235
Piatt200614
Cumberland188526
Menard171013
Jasper160521
Marshall140921
Hamilton133322
Schuyler106410
Brown10589
Pulaski103711
Edwards102518
Stark80928
Gallatin7848
Alexander71312
Scott7116
Henderson69614
Calhoun6862
Hardin59416
Putnam5604
Pope5446
Unassigned1582433
Out of IL90

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 8 p.m. ET)

Cases: 996341

Reported Deaths: 16245
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1343262101
Lake658231151
Allen57160791
Hamilton45963460
St. Joseph43954607
Elkhart35546503
Vanderburgh31975473
Tippecanoe27694256
Johnson24821440
Hendricks23647353
Porter22735362
Madison18538404
Clark18383248
Vigo17274300
Monroe15117197
LaPorte14987249
Delaware14931256
Howard14574286
Kosciusko12166147
Hancock11597175
Bartholomew11447179
Warrick11225188
Floyd10983214
Wayne10840248
Grant9898217
Morgan9361176
Boone8819115
Dubois8210129
Dearborn815492
Henry8107150
Noble7944106
Marshall7786134
Cass7462119
Lawrence7379168
Shelby7115114
Jackson691788
Gibson6480113
Harrison641591
Huntington630299
Knox6269105
DeKalb623796
Montgomery6184109
Miami586595
Putnam573477
Clinton567171
Whitley558055
Steuben550473
Wabash5250101
Jasper520475
Jefferson504695
Ripley492485
Adams472773
Daviess4596112
Scott433968
Greene421196
Wells419787
Clay418460
White414261
Decatur4118101
Fayette402186
Jennings383260
Posey374243
LaGrange352078
Washington352049
Randolph339999
Spencer336442
Fountain331858
Sullivan326652
Starke310868
Owen310169
Fulton304566
Orange290562
Jay278445
Perry264452
Franklin262742
Carroll258232
Rush257232
Vermillion254254
Parke229726
Pike227343
Tipton225659
Blackford187840
Pulaski181155
Crawford158122
Newton155648
Benton150117
Brown144047
Martin137319
Switzerland133911
Warren120116
Union106615
Ohio84012
Unassigned0532