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HURRICANE SEASON 2017: Tropical Storm Bret Closes Schools In Trinidad & Tobago With 45 MPH Winds

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MIAMI — Tropical Storm Bret is expected to weaken as it moves across the region today while a second, larger system rolling across the Gulf of Mexico appears to be intensifying.

As of 8 a.m. today Bret was located about 20 miles east of Margarita Island, a popular tourist resort off the Venezuelan coast, with sustained winds of 45 mph, National Hurricane Center forecasters said.

The storm, the first on record to form east of the Antilles in June, was moving west, northwest at 21 mph.

As it rolls across the Caribbean later today, forecasters say the storm will gain little strength and begin to weaken, likely becoming a tropical depression by Wednesday.

In the Gulf of Mexico, a sprawling storm that rolled off the Yucatan Peninsula last week continued to intensify and become better formed, forecasters said.

 The system was located 265 miles south, southwest of the Mississippi River and moving slowly at 9 mph with sustained winds of 40 mph Tuesday morning. The storm is expected to near the Louisiana coast late Wednesday, but conditions could be felt sometime today. The system has a 90 percent chance of becoming a tropical storm.
With tropical storm force winds extending about 205 miles, the system has churned up messy weather along its northward track. The storm is packing heavy rain, with between four and eight inches likely as it moves north and up to 10 inches possible for parts of the gulf coast, including Pensacola.
A storm surge between one and two feet above ground level is also possible for parts of the Louisiana coast, forecasters said, along with possible tornadoes extending into the Florida Panhandle.

DAMAGE HAS BEEN DONE: Some of the damage Tropical Storm Bret wrought in Trinidad on Monday.

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The Author

John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy is primarily known for his investigative reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands. A series of reports beginning in the 1990's revealed that there was everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling. Another report, following Hurricane Hugo in 1989, cited a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) confidential overview that said that over 40 percent of the U.S. Virgin Islands public lives below the poverty line. The Virgin Islands Free Press is the only Caribbean news source to regularly incorporate the findings of U.S. Freedom of Information Act requests. John's articles have appeared in the BVI Beacon, St. Croix Avis, San Juan Star and Virgin Islands Daily News. He is the former news director of WSVI-TV Channel 8 on St. Croix.

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