Tropical Depression Isaac drenches Puerto Rico, sparks power outages

Hurricane Helene is not expected to pose any danger as it turns northward in the Atlantic Ocean

Isaac is expected to reach the islands, which remain under a tropical storm warning, by Thursday afternoon and cross the Caribbean through Saturday. Effective at 8 p.m. Tuesday, the Coast Guard Sector San Juan captain of the port set port condition X-ray for the USVI and Puerto Rico due to the expectation of sustained gale force winds of 25 mph and gusts up to 40 mph generated by tropical storm Isaac that may arrive within 48 hours.

Isaac weakened into a tropical storm Monday and by Tuesday recorded maximum sustained winds of 70 miles per hour.

At 2:00 pm, today, Thursday, September 13, Isaac was located at 14.9N 62.5W or about 80 miles or 130 km West-South-West of Dominica or about 240 miles or 385 km South-East of St. Croix. The hurricane center is giving the system a 50 percent chance of becoming a tropical depression or storm within the next five days.

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for. Isaac is expected to dissipate within the next few days.

The NHC said an area of low pressure is expected to develop near Bermuda late this weekend or early next week and gradual development is possible after that time while the system drifts westward over the western Atlantic.

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A NOAA hurricane hunter aircraft will soon fly through the center of Isaac, and will provide a better assessment of the intensity of the tropical storm and the extent of its winds.

Overnight, Isaac began to fall apart as it encountered increasing atmospheric winds that help shred storms and neared dry air. "These swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions".

Bridges, airports and ferry services in the affected areas face closure if winds grow too violent, while roads and rail routes might also be cut off.

Forecasters say Isaac is expected to produce total rainfall accumulations of 3 to 5 inches with isolated amounts near 10 inches across the southern Leeward Islands late this week, with 1 to 2 inches anticipated across portions of the Windward Islands.

With the ground already saturated from recent rain, another drenching from Florence combined with winds could easily lead to trees being uprooted and widespread power outages, he said.

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