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Tropical Storms Cindy, Bret set record for June

by DANICA COTO The Associated Press | June 24, 2023 at 4:12 a.m.
This GeoColor satellite image taken Tuesday, June 20, 2023 and provided by NOAA, shows Tropical Storm Bret as it chugged toward the eastern Caribbean. (NOAA via AP)

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico -- Tropical Storm Cindy has formed behind Tropical Storm Bret, in the first case of two storms in the tropical Atlantic in June since record keeping began in 1851, forecasters said Friday.

The historic event signals an early and aggressive start to the Atlantic hurricane season that began June 1 and usually peaks from mid-August to mid-October.

Cindy was forecast to remain a tropical storm while heading to the northeast of the Caribbean into the open waters of the Atlantic, before dissipating early in next week.

Meanwhile, Bret brought winds, heavy rain and swells of up to 15 feet early Friday to islands in the eastern Caribbean that shut down to prepare for potential landslides and flooding. Officials in the French Caribbean island of Martinique said they found four people who were aboard a lifeboat after their catamaran sank during the storm and they were hospitalized.

Power outages were reported in St. Lucia and St. Vincent and the Grenadines, with at least 130 people seeking protection in government shelters as the storm washed away one home and caused severe damage to several others, according to officials.

Ralph Gonsalves, prime minister for St. Vincent and the Grenadines, told a local radio station Friday that officials are still assessing the damage and are helping those in need.

"We will respond, as always, with speed," he said.

Authorities in Barbados said they received more than a dozen reports of damage across the island, according to the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency.

Bret was moving through the central Caribbean on Friday night, passing to the north of Aruba, Bonaire and Curaco. Forecasters said it was expected to dissipate tonight.

Airports, businesses, schools and offices closed on St. Vincent, St. Lucia, Dominica, Martinique and other islands by midday Thursday. Forecasters had warned that the storm might pass directly over St. Lucia, which is north of St. Vincent, but its path shifted south. Authorities in St. Lucia opened one shelter at the request of some residents who feared their homes would not withstand the storm.

Rainfall of 3 to 6 inches was forecast from the French island of Guadeloupe south to St. Vincent and the Grenadines, including Barbados, the U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami said. Dangerous surf was also a possibility, the center warned.

Meanwhile, Cindy's maximum sustained winds were around 50 mph Friday, and forecasts called for some strengthening. The storm was centered about 735 miles east of the Lesser Antilles.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has forecast 12 to 17 named storms for this year's hurricane season. It said between five and nine of those storms could become hurricanes, including up to four major hurricanes of Category 3 or higher.

Print Headline: Tropical Storms Cindy, Bret set record for June


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