Recap: Bertha Disrupts Caribbean Islands

By Adam Douty, Meteorologist
August 5, 2014; 6:13 PM ET
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Tropical Storm Bertha crossed the Lesser Antilles, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic on its march across the Caribbean.

Bertha began to bring wind and rain to the Lesser Antilles on Friday. At the time, tropical storm warnings were in effect for a large portion of the island chain. After tracking across the Lesser Antilles, Bertha marched across the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.

Bertha crossed through the Lesser Antilles very close to the island of Martinique Friday afternoon with peak sustained winds near 50 mph.

In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, government spokeswoman Audrey Hamann said that some 150,000 homes were affected by (power) outages, but that no damage or injuries were reported.

On Saturday, Bertha moved across Puerto Rico and, according to the National Weather Service office in Puerto Rico, there were multiple reports of downed trees and power lines along with flooding, mudslides and roads being washed out.

Two women walk with the protection of an umbrella in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico, Saturday, Aug. 2, 2014. Bertha pushed just south of Puerto Rico on Saturday as it unleashed heavy rains and strong winds across the region. (AP Photo/Ricardo Arduengo)

One of the harder hit areas appears to be around Utuado where there were multiple reports of urban flooding along with several mudslides.

Elsewhere across the island, a section of road collapsed between Aguas Buenas and Bayamon. Near the popular El Yunque National Park, there was a partial road collapse along with downed tree branches.

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Several impressive wind gusts where reported in the Virgin Islands. Reports from the National Weather Service in Puerto Rico said wind gusted to 55 mph on Buck Island and to 71 mph at a buoy located to the south of Saint Thomas.

The Associated Press reported that Puerto Rico's main international airport was closed for a time as Bertha passed, causing several flight to be canceled. The airport has since reopened. Also from the Associated Press, authorities in Puerto Rico said that nearly 29,000 households were without power and this most of the outages occurred in the central mountains region of the island.

Now that Tropical Storm Bertha has moved away from the northern Caribbean, it will now move across the southeastern Bahamas as a minimal tropical storm.

Eventually it is expected to turn to the north and northeast, missing the United States but heightening the risk of rough surf and rip currents along the East Coast.


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