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TS Kirk drops heavy rain across eastern Caribbean

ROSEAU, Dominica (AP) — Tropical Storm Kirk dropped heavy rain and unleashed flooding as it passed through the eastern Caribbean on Thursday.

A tropical storm warning was in effect for Barbados, St. Lucia, Dominica, Martinique and Guadeloupe. A tropical storm watch was issued for St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

Officials in the French Caribbean island of Guadeloupe closed schools on Thursday and Friday as a preventive measure. Rain and thunderstorms were starting to spread across Barbados.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center said that up to 10 inches (25 centimeters) of rain could fall in parts of Dominica and Martinique. Forecasters warned of strong winds and said mudslides and flash flooding are possible.

The storm had maximum sustained winds of 50 mph (85 kph) and was located about 60 miles (90 kilometers) south-southeast of Martinique. It was moving west-northwest at 14 mph (22 kph).

Forecasters said Kirk is expected to become a tropical depression late Friday and degenerate into a trough of low pressure by Sunday.

Meanwhile, Hurricane Rosa grew into a Category 3 storm off Mexico’s Pacific Coast, though it’s not expected to threaten land before next week.

Rosa had maximum sustained winds of 125 mph (205 kph) and was located about 570 miles (915 kilometers) southwest of the southern tip of the Baja California Peninsula. Forecasters said it was likely to strengthen further at sea, but then weaken to tropical storm force while curving back toward the peninsular early next week.

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