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article imagePuerto Rico, Virgin Islands bracing for Tropical Storm Karen

By Karen Graham     Sep 23, 2019 in Environment
Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands braced for Tuesday's expected arrival of Tropical Storm Karen and its accompanying torrential rains and dangerous flooding, officials said. Puerto Rico is also closing schools and closing public agencies.
At the 2:00 p.m. advisory from the National Hurricane Center, Karen was located about 135 miles (215 kilometers) SSW of St. Croix and 175 miles (285 kilometers) south of San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Karen has maximum sustained winds of 35 mph (55 kph) with higher gusts and is moving toward the NNW at 13 mph (20 kph). The minimum central pressure is 1007 MB - 29.74 inches.
Puerto Rico Governor Wanda Vázquez said Monday that she has activated the National Guard and she urged people in flood-prone areas to seek shelter.
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The region can expect " major rainfall," according to forecasters, with Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands receiving 2 to 4 inches and up to 8 inches in isolated areas. The Northern Windward Islands can see an additional 1 to 2 inches of rain, while the Leeward Islands may see 1 to 3 inches of rainfall and 5 inches in isolated areas.
These rains may cause flash flooding and mudslides, especially in mountainous areas. Tropical-storm-force winds are expected, but a strengthening of the storm is not anticipated.
On the forecast track, the center of Karen will move across the eastern Caribbean Sea this evening and pass near or over Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands late tonight or Tuesday morning. Karen will move over the Western Atlantic to the North of Puerto Rico by Tuesday night or Wednesday.
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