Beryl causes power outages, flooding in Puerto Rico

The remnants of Beryl, the Atlantic season's first hurricane, brought heavy winds and rain to Puerto Rico resulting in power outages and mudslides in areas of the island still recovering from Hurricane Maria on Monday. Photo courtesy Carmen Yulin Cruz/Twitter

July 9 (UPI) — Remnants of Beryl, the Atlantic season’s first hurricane, brought heavy winds and rains to Puerto Rico Monday, resulting in landslides and power outages.

More than 20,000 homes and businesses were without power as the storm passed over the island, including at least 1,500 who have been without electricity since Hurricane Maria devastated the island last year, Lt. Gov. Luis Rivera Marín told the Miami Herald.

About 60,000 homes were still covered by tarps after Hurricane Maria destroyed roofs, and several temporary bridges were still in place.

Puerto Rican officials declared a state of emergency Friday and urged people in flood-prone areas to seek safety. The territory opened dozens of shelters capable of holding more than 100,000 people.

San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz shared images of flooding in the U.S. commonwealth’s capital city and Rivera said the island had begun to experience mudslides.

The storm was expected to deliver 2 inches to 4 inches of heavy rain and gusty winds of 35 mph or higher. Meteorologists downgraded Beryl from a tropical storm to a remnant low pressure system on Sunday.

The National Weather Service warned of thunderstorms in addition to rainfall and strong winds, and residents in San Juan, Trujillo Alto, Loiza, Carolina, Canovanas, Guaynabo, Bayamon, Cataño were issued a flash flood warning lasting until 4:45 p.m.

Beryl has a low chance of reforming into a cyclone, with the possibility of reformation at 30 percent within the next five days, the National Hurricane Center said.


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