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Tropical Storm Bertha Spins Toward Puerto Rico, Warnings Issued

The storm is expected to bring much-needed rain to Puerto Rico, which is currently experiencing a moderate drought.

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Tropical Storm Bertha formed in the Atlantic late Thursday, becoming the second named storm of the 2014 Atlantic hurricane season.


As of 11 p.m. ET Friday, the storm had maximum sustained winds of 50 mph and was located 180 miles southeast of St. Croix. Bertha was moving WNW at 22 mph, the National Hurricane Center said.

Tropical storm warnings were issued for Martinique, Puerto Rico, Vieques, Culebra, and the U.S. and British Virgin Islands.


Tropical storm watches were posted for parts of the Dominican Republic and Bahamas.


Bertha passed north of Barbados on Friday, bringing heavy rain to the island, but no damage.

"At this point in time, it's had no impact," Judy Thomas, director of the island's emergency management agency, told the Associated Press.

On Martinique, the storm left 150,000 homes without power, a government spokeswoman said. There was no serious damage or injuries reported.

Tropical Storm #Bertha from my porch just now as it passes #Dominica to the south west.

Paul Crask@wistfulnomad

Tropical Storm #Bertha from my porch just now as it passes #Dominica to the south west.

5:21 PM - 01 Aug 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

After moving through the Lesser Antilles Friday, Bertha was expected to arrive in Puerto Rico on Saturday, then move toward the Bahamas.


3 to 6 inches of rain were expected with the storm on Puerto Rico, with isolated areas possibly receiving up to 10 inches, the National Weather Service in San Juan said. 1 to 3 inches of rain, with isolated areas up to 6 inches, were forecast on the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Puerto Rico has been experiencing a moderate drought and the much-needed rain could be good news for the island.

"We expect a lot of rain," Ernesto Morales at the National Weather Service told the AP. "It's very hard to say whether it will rain over water or land. We hope it's over land."

Bertha does not appear to be a threat to the U.S. East Coast. Forecast models predict the system will curve back out to sea early next week.


Last month, Hurricane Arthur struck North Carolina as a Category 2 storm. The system left tens of thousands without power and caused flood damage on the Outer Banks.

Jon Passantino is the Los Angeles bureau chief for BuzzFeed News.

Contact Jon Passantino at

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