Karen exits Caribbean after toppling bridge, cutting power

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — Authorities in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands reported a downed bridge, limited power outages, flooding and landslides as Tropical Storm Karen swirled away from the northeast Caribbean on Wednesday.

Schools remained closed in Puerto Rico, although government offices reopened. Meanwhile, everything reopened in the U.S. Virgin Islands except for offices and schools in St. John.

Crews temporarily closed some coastal roads in southeastern Puerto Rico that flooded after Karen hit the island on Tuesday and knocked out power to 29,000 customers. An islandwide outage was reported in neighboring St. Thomas Tuesday morning, followed by smaller outages later that afternoon.

A community in the mountain town of Utuado was isolated Wednesday after a bridge that had been damaged during Hurricane Maria two years ago collapsed during the rains of Tropical Storm Karen. Mayor Ernesto Irizarry told reporters that he has been seeking $1 million to repair the bridge.

Intermittent rains continued Friday even as Karen pulled away.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center said that around midday, the storm was centered about 240 miles (385 kilometers) north-northeast of San Juan and it was moving north at 15 mph (24 kph). The storm still had maximum sustained winds of 45 mph (75 kph), with some strengthening possible in coming days.

Forecasters said the storm is projected to make a clockwise loop over the Atlantic over the weekend, which would leave it heading generally toward the U.S. East Coast.

Meanwhile, Jerry became a post-tropical cyclone and was nearing Bermuda, on Wednesday. It was about 75 miles (125 kilometers) west of Bermuda and had sustained winds of 40 mph (65 kph) as it moved east-northeast at 12 mph (19 kph).

Further to the east, Lorenzo became the fifth Atlantic hurricane of the season and was projected to become a major hurricane by the end of the week, although it is not expected to affect the Caribbean. It was centered about 715 miles (1,155 kilometers) west of the southernmost Cape Verde Islands and had maximum sustained winds of 85 mph (140 kph). It was heading west-northwest at 17 mph (28 kph).

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