Puerto Rico deals with rain and flooding as remnants of Beryl move over the island

Puerto Rico deals with rain and flooding as remnants of Beryl move over the island
Posted at 2:33 PM, Jul 09, 2018

The remnants of the storm Beryl brought heavy rain and wind to Puerto Rico, creating flash flood warnings on the island and exacerbating power outage issues that have remained since last year's devastating hurricane season.

Beryl was downgraded from a tropical storm to a remnant low-pressure system on Sunday as it passed over the Lesser Antilles, the National Hurricane Center said.

Though less powerful than before, the storm is still expected to bring 2 to 4 inches of heavy rain and gusty winds of 35 mph or higher to Puerto Rico. The eastern parts of the US commonwealth are under a flash flood warning, and the western parts of the island are under a less-severe flash flood watch.

Gov. Ricardo Rossello said the government has opened 42 shelters for citizens to obtain relief from Beryl at the demand of mayors across the island.

San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz posted several images of some urban flooding in the capital city.

As of Monday afternoon, 47,514 clients were without power, a total that includes customers who remain without service since Hurricane Maria last September, according to Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority.

The National Weather Service warned islanders that thunderstorms with torrential rainfall and strong gusty winds continue to bombard the eastern half of Puerto Rico. Residents in the areas of San Juan, Trujillo Alto, Loiza, Carolina, Canovanas, Guaynabo, Bayamon, Cataño have been warned of flash flooding that is expected to continue until 4:45 p.m. ET, according to the weather service.

Though the storm is far from the strength of major Hurricanes Maria and Irma last year, Beryl still posed a threat of wind and rain to areas that have not fully recovered from those destructive storms. Hurricane Maria destroyed Puerto Rico's electrical grid and caused the deaths of an untold number of people.

The US commonwealth was ordered to turn over to CNN and another news organization a database of information on all deaths that occurred after Maria pummeled the island. An academic report has estimated 4,645 people died due to Maria's destruction.