The storm that had been the Atlantic season's first hurricane has been losing power, but residents on islands hit hard by storms a year ago stocked up on food and water Saturday and prepared for possible damaging winds, rains and waves.
Tropical Storm Chris formed off a tropical depression along the Carolinas' coast early Sunday morning as Beryl remained a storm, according to the National Hurricane Center. Government officials had said they were most anxious about those still living with tarps on their roofs.
A state of emergency was in effect, the statement said.
Chris may eventually impact parts of Nova Scotia and Newfoundland while transitioning into a strong non-tropical area of low pressure late in the week.
Tropical Storm Chris, which continues to linger off the North Carolina coast, is expected to become a hurricane on Monday. Clean Bed & Breakfast in Dominica, said in a phone interview. Some 60,000 people still have only tarps for roofs. "They're the ones who are suffering the most now".
The U.S. National Hurricane Center said the system's winds would fall below gale force during the night as it headed on a path expected to take it south of those islands. Hurricane force winds for a Category 1 storm are 74 to 95 miles per hour.
The forecast predicts two to three inches of rain through Tuesday for Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and the Leeward Islands.
Forecasters warned that the USA territory could see between 15 to 25 miles per hour (25 to 40 kph) winds, as well as heavy rains that could cause flooding and mudslides. It said the system could still drop up to 2 to 3 inches (5 to eight 8) of rain, with as much as 5 inches (13 centimeters) in isolated spots.
It has been a mostly stationary storm so far, sustaining maximum wind speeds close to 45 miles per hour, but is expected to remain "well offshore" of the USA coast.
Chris has barely moved since Saturday and is not expected to make any significant movement for the next few days.