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Dominica was under a hurricane watch and several surrounding islands issued tropical storm watches, with the strong winds possible by Sunday evening. The current forecast track from the National Hurricane Center has the storm tracking across the islands of the Lesser Antilles by the end of the weekend, then moving south of the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico on Monday.

THE FORECAST FOR CHRIS: The forecast from the National Hurricane Center calls for gradual strengthening through the next couple of days to hurricane status, and strengthen as its wind field broadens, reaching hurricane status in the next few days. Beryl is a very compact hurricane.

Outside scattered showers and storms and rough seas for the Carolina coast this system is not expected to have much of an impact on the United States.

"Tropical Storm Watch means that tropical storm conditions are possible within the watch area", the hurricane center said. The current maximum sustained winds are about 40 miles per hour.

Although what had been the Atlantic season's first hurricane was losing power, residents on islands hit hard by storms a year ago stocked up on food and water and prepared for possible damaging winds, rains and waves.

As of 4 a.m. CDT Sunday, Tropical Storm Chris was located about 150 miles south of Cape Hatteras, N.C.

Some of the islands are still recovering from the devastation wrought by September's back-to-back powerful hurricanes Irma and Maria.

"People have to remain alert", Gabriel Lojero, a forecaster for the National Weather Service in San Juan, told The Associated Press. It was moving west at 14 miles per hour, with sustained winds of 75 miles per hour. Weakening is expected once Beryl reaches the eastern Caribbean Sea on Monday July 09.

Beryl is expected to produce total rain accumulations of 2 to 4 inches through Monday across the southern Leeward and northern Windward Islands.

Tropical Depression 3, off the southeastern coast of North Carolina could become a named storm, Chris.