The US territory of Puerto Rico has declared a state of emergency as it braces to be hit by a tropical storm churning through the Caribbean.
The National Hurricane Center issued a hurricane watch and tropical storm warning for Puerto Rico early Tuesday as Tropical Storm Dorian moved through the Windward Islands.
Forecasters expect Tropical Storm Dorian to develop into a hurricane within the next 24 hours.
The storm was 25km (15 miles) northwest of the island of St Lucia by Tuesday morning, according to the NHC.
The center said that, as of 11 a.m. today, the storm had maximum sustained winds of 50 mph and was forecast to strengthen over the next 48 hours as it moved toward Puerto Rico.
Tropical-storm-force winds extended outward up to 45 miles from the center.
The storm was expected to dump between 3 to 8 inches of rain on the Windward islands, with isolated amounts up to 10 inches. The hurricane center said the rainfall “may cause life threatening flash floods, especially where totals exceed four inches.”
The center also had a tropical storm warning in effect for Martinique.
Tropical storm warnings for St. Vincent, the Grenadines and St. Lucia were discontinued.
Tropical storm watches were in effect for Dominica, Saba and St. Eustatius, and a tropical storm watch was discontinued for Grenada.
Also early Tuesday, the Dominican Republic government issued a hurricane watch for some parts of the island and a tropical storm watch for portions of its north and south coasts.
The hurricane center, in Miami, recommended that residents of the Virgin Islands keep an eye on Dorian, as well.
CBS Jeff Berardelli gives an update on the storm in this report.
In Puerto Rico, people crowded into grocery stores and gas stations to prepare for Dorian, buying food, water and generators, among other things.
Many were worried about power outages and heavy rains on an island still struggling to recover from Hurricane Maria, a Category 4 storm that hit in September 2017.
Some 30,000 homes still have blue tarps as roofs and the electrical grid remains fragile and prone to outages even during brief rain showers.