Tropical Storm Philippe soaks northeast Caribbean on a path toward Bermuda, New England and Canada

SAN JUAN – Tropical Storm Philippe drenched the U.S. and British Virgin Islands on Wednesday as it spun away from the northeast Caribbean on a path that would take it toward Bermuda and later New England and Atlantic Canada.

The storm was located about 255 miles (410 kilometers) north-northwest of St. Thomas on Wednesday afternoon. It had winds of up to 45 mph (75 kph) and was moving north-northwest at 9 mph (15 kph), according to the National Hurricane Center in Miami.

The U.S. Virgin Islands shuttered all schools and reported multiple power outages in St. Thomas, St. Croix and St. John amid heavy rains and lightning.

Schools in St. Martin and St. Barts also remained closed Wednesday morning, and officials in the French Caribbean territories banned people from swimming in the ocean or doing any nautical activities until Thursday.

Forecasters said up to 12 inches (30 centimeters) of rain could fall in the U.S. and British Virgin Islands, and up to four inches (10 centimeters) in northeast and southeast Puerto Rico.

A tropical storm watch was issued for Bermuda, with Philippe is expected to approach the island late Thursday and Friday as it was forecast to intensify slightly in the coming days.

“The intensity forecast remains murky,” the hurricane center said.

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