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Tropical Storm Kirk Expected To Pass South of St. Croix Tomorrow Afternoon

MIAMI — Tropical Storm Kirk dropped heavy rain and unleashed flooding as it passed through the eastern Caribbean today.

A tropical storm warning was issued for Barbados, St. Lucia, Dominica, Martinique and Guadeloupe. A tropical storm watch was issued for St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

Officials in the French Caribbean island of Guadeloupe closed schools today and tomorrow as a preventive measure.

The National Hurricane Center (NHC) said that up to 10 inches (25 centimeters) of rain could fall in parts of Dominica and Martinique. Forecasters said mudslides and flash flooding are possible.

The storm had maximum sustained winds of 50 mph (85 kph) and was located about 90 miles (140 kilometers) east-southeast of Martinique. It was moving west-northwest at 14 mph (22 kph).

“Interests elsewhere in the central and northern Lesser Antilles should monitor the progress of Kirk,” the NHC said, adding that “on the forecast track, the center of Kirk will move across the Lesser Antilles within the tropical storm warning area by this evening.”

The NHC noted that while winds might not be of major concern, rainfall is.

“Kirk is expected to produce total rainfall of 4 to 6 inches across the northern Windward and southern Leeward Islands with isolated maximum totals up to 10 inches across Martinique and Dominica,” according to the NHC. “These rains may produce life-threatening flash floods and mudslides. Across eastern Puerto Rico, Kirk is expected to bring 2 to 4 inches with isolated maximum totals of 6 inches by Friday and Saturday.”

Meanwhile, forecasters projected Hurricane Rosa will grow to Category 3 force off Mexico’s Pacific Coast, though it’s not expected to threaten land before next week.

Rosa had maximum sustained winds of 105 mph (165 kph) and was located about 530 miles (855 kilometers) southwest of the southern tip of the Baja California Peninsula. Forecasters said it was likely to strengthen further at sea, but then weaken to tropical storm force while curving back toward the peninsular early next week.

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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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