Tropical Storm Chris forms off the Carolinas, generating risky surf

Rain and storm winds blowing trees

After the storm passes through the Caribbean early this week, "there appears to be an opportunity for the remnants of Beryl to regenerate into a tropical cyclone when the system moves through the Bahamas and into the southwestern Atlantic", the National Hurricane Center said.

Jose Alamo, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, told The Associated Press that 1 to 5 inches (3 to 13 centimeters) of rain fell across Puerto Rico.

A third named storm that formed off the North Carolina coast early on Sunday was forecast to become a hurricane on Monday, the US National Hurricane Centre said.

Puerto Rico's governor had feared new power outages if Beryl passed near his island as a tropical storm as originally forecast.

Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rossello also urged people without sturdy roofs to move in with relatives or one of 24 government shelters that had opened.

Some 60,000 people in the USA territory still have only tarps for roofs blown off by Maria, and more than 1,500 customers are still without power more than nine months after the storm.

The remnant of Tropical Storm Beryl continues its way over a home still using a blue tarp for a roof that was previously damaged by Hurricane Maria, in Yabucoa, Puerto Rico, Monday, July 9, 2018.

Meteorologist Marshall Alexander told The Associated Press that officials were anxious about those living with tarps on their roofs after Maria slammed into Dominica as a Category 5 storm previous year, killing dozens of people.

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As of Sunday, Beryl was producing maximum sustained winds of 45 miles per hour with higher gusts.

Puerto Rico's east coast was the most affected even as people in that region struggle to recover from Hurricane Maria.

On Monday, people were still buying water, batteries, candles and food there as the storm neared.

"I'm scared that there could be a lot of rain", she said, adding that Maria flooded her home.

Flooding is a big concern for those still living in homes that have not been fully rebuilt since Maria. Some 60,000 people still have only tarps for roofs.

"Definitely, we were spared the worst", he said.

Tropical Storm Chris was about 160 miles (257 kilometres) south of Cape Hatteras in North Carolina with sustained winds of 45mph (75kph), the NHC said in an advisory. Forecasters expected it to gain hurricane strength before moving up Gulf Stream waters on a path that could cause life-threatening surf along East Coast beaches this week.

As of Monday afternoon, there were almost 13,000 power outages, a total that included customers who remain without service since Hurricane Maria last September, according to Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority. Flash-flood warnings have expired, but a watch continued through midnight as intermittent showers and storms continued.

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