Tropical Storm headed for the Caribbean islands

Tropical Storm Beryl is heading for the Lesser Antilles group of islands at the eastern entrance of the Caribbean Sea.

Tropical Storm BerylResidents on the islands hit hard by storms last year stocked up on food and water and prepared for possible damaging winds, rains and waves.

A tropical storm warning was raised on Guadeloupe and Dominica, while a tropical storm watch was issued for the French Caribbean territories of Martinique, St Martin and St Barts as well as St Maarten, Barbados, St Lucia, Saba and St Eustatius​.

Puerto Rico, which was devastated by Hurricane Maria in September, remained under a state of emergency.

On Dominica, which was also battered by Maria, the island’s meteorological service warned residents that at least four inches of rain could fall before the storm passed over the island nation.

Dominican prime minister Roosevelt Skerrit told people to store water because the government would be shutting down the water system as a protective measure and warned them to stay alert.

The US National Hurricane Centre said Beryl’s maximum sustained winds remained 45 mph. It was centered 240 miles east-southeast of Barbados and was moving west northwestward at 20 mph.

Long lines were reported at grocery stores on Dominica, Puerto Rico and elsewhere as people shopped for food and water.

“Here’s hoping it misses us,” said one shopper, Sandra Whitcher, who owns the Coffeeriver Cottages on Dominica. She said workmen had fortified the roofs on all seven cottages that survived Hurricane Maria. “I can’t say I’m not scared, but I know we have prepared as much as we can possibly do.”

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