SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico.- Tropical storm Beryl disintegrated Sunday as it zipped toward the eastern Caribbean, where forecasters still warned of heavy rains on islands struggling to recover from last year’s deadly hurricanes.
The government of Dominica said it would shut down its water system and Puerto Rico’s governor warned of likely new power outages. People on islands across the region stocked up on food and water and prepared for possible damaging winds, rains and waves.
Intermittent rainstorms were already hitting Dominica, and the U.S. National Hurricane Center said 2 to 3 inches (5 to 7.5 centimeters) of rain could fall as the storm’s remnants moved over or near the mountainous island Sunday night.
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Dominica Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit told people to store water because the government would shut down the water system as a precaution, and he warned them to stay alert and respect an island-wide curfew to remain indoors.
“We have to continue to take the situation very seriously,” he said in a public address. “Move now. Go to your relatives. ... Go to the shelters.”
Meteorologist Marshall Alexander told The Associated Press that officials were worried about people still living with tarps on their roofs after Hurricane Maria slammed into Dominica as a Category 5 storm last year, killing dozens of people.“We are in a vulnerable state,” he said.
Meanwhile, Tropical Storm Chris formed off the Carolinas, and the U.S. hurricane center said it was likely to grow into a hurricane while heading to the northeast, roughly parallel to the coast. It wasn’t projected to directly threaten land over the next few days, though forecasters said it could kick up dangerous surf and rip tides.
In the Caribbean, a tropical storm watch was up for Dominica and long lines were reported at grocery stores on several islands as people shopped for food and water.