Tropical storm soaks Virgin Islands

CHARLOTTE AMALIE, US Virgin Islands — The outer bands of Tropical Storm Rafael drenched the Caribbean’s Northern Leeward Islands on Sunday as its center steadily moved over open ocean on a possible track toward Bermuda.

There were no immediate reports of any significant damage or injuries in the Caribbean islands as the center of the tropical storm churned toward the north-northwest at about 10 miles per hour. Last night, it was about 185 miles north-northeast of San Juan and was packing winds of roughly 60 miles per hour.

Forecasters at the National Hurricane Center in Miami said Rafael could strengthen into a hurricane by late Monday.


It could then approach Bermuda late Tuesday. The Bermuda Weather Service issued a tropical storm watch for the storm-hardened British territory of about 70,000 people.

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In the US Virgin Islands, Elton Lewis, the territory’s emergency management director, said authorities ‘‘don’t anticipate any significant impact’’ from the passing storm. There were off-and-on showers during much of the day.

Tropical storm warnings have been discontinued for Caribbean islands.

Associated Press