Tropical Storm Rafael dumps rain in east Caribbean

CHARLOTTE AMALIE, U.S. Virgin Islands (AP) — Tropical Storm Rafael is lashing the eastern Caribbean with heavy rains that are expected to unleash floods on islands around the region.

The storm is located about 105 miles east-southeast of St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands. It has top sustained winds of 50 mph and is moving north at 12 mph.

The National Hurricane Center says the storm will gain some strength and will pass near or over the Virgin Islands tonight.

Some airlines have cancelled flights scheduled to leave from Puerto Rico's main international airport. The Carnival Victory cruise ship also cancelled a stop in St. Maarten today.

Flooding is reported in Trinidad.

A tropical storm warning is in effect for the U.S. Virgin Islands, the British Virgin Islands, Anguilla, Barbuda, St. Kitts, Nevis, Antigua, Montserrat, St. Maartin and Guadeloupe.

Puerto Rico is under a tropical storm watch.

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