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Tropical Storm Philippe Pelts Northeast Caribbean With Heavy Rains and Forces Schools to Close

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — Tropical storm Philippe dropped heavy rains in the northeast Caribbean on Tuesday, forcing governments to close schools in the region as forecasters warned of flash flooding.

The storm was located about 85 miles (135 kilometers) north of St. Thomas and had winds of up to 45 mph (75 kph). Philippe made landfall in Barbuda late Monday and was moving northwest at 12 mph (19 kph), according to the National Hurricane Center in Miami.

Forecasters warned that the strongest winds and rains would be felt by islands located south of the storm’s center as Philippe moved north of the Leeward Islands on Tuesday.

Officials in the twin-island nation of Antigua and Barbuda closed schools and government offices, while those in the French Caribbean territories of St. Martin and St. Barts closed schools.

Meanwhile, officials in Guadeloupe said the storm knocked power out to 2,500 customers and left several communities without running water. It also forced two road closures and left one community isolated as crews worked to reopen roads.

Philippe was expected to turn north-northwest late Tuesday and then take a path north into open waters on Wednesday. It is expected to approach Bermuda late Thursday and Friday.

Forecasters said between 4 to 8 inches (10 to 20 centimeters) of rain was expected from Anguilla south to Montserrat, including St. Kitts and Nevis and the British Virgin Islands, with a maximum of 12 inches (30 centimeters). Up to 4 inches (10 centimeters) was expected for the remaining Leeward Islands and the northern Windward Islands, as well as the U.S. Virgin Islands and northeast Puerto Rico.

Source : apnews