Tropical Storm Alex heads for Bermuda area with wind, rain
Volunteers push a boat through a street flooded by heavy rains, to go and rescue a neighbor who is unable to leave his home on his own, in Havana, Cuba, Friday, June 3, 2022. Heavy rains have drenched Cuba with almost non-stop rain for the last 24 hours as tropical storm watches were posted Thursday for Florida, Cuba and the Bahamas as the system that battered Mexico moves to the east. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

HAMILTON, Bermuda (AP)— Tropical Storm Alex, the first named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season, headed for a close pass by Bermuda on Monday after deluging parts of Florida and causing three deaths in Cuba.

Alex strengthened some over the Atlantic after becoming a tropical storm early Sunday when it moved over the Atlantic following its trek across Florida, where it left streets flooded and motorists stranded in some cities Saturday.

The US National Hurricane Center said Alex has weakened and had maximum sustained winds of 65 mph (100 kph) early Monday. Further weakening was expected Tuesday. It was centered about 140 miles (225 kilometres) northwest of Bermuda and moving to the east-northeast at a brisk 28 mph (44 kph). This motion is expected to continue until the storm is absorbed Tuesday.

The storm was expected to pass just north of Bermuda on Monday. A tropical storm warning was in effect on the island, where forecasters said it could drop 1 to 2 inches (25 to 50 mm) of rain from late Sunday into Monday.

Bermuda's national security minister, Michael Weeks, said emergency services were monitoring the storm.

The storm system earlier killed three people in Cuba, damaged dozens of homes in Havana and knocked out electricity in some areas, authorities reported.

Parts of South Florida experienced road flooding from heavy rain and wind Saturday.

Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber said the storm tested the system of drainage pumps the city recently installed as climate change has increasingly made flooding an issue in the low-lying area.

"We moved the water off pretty quickly, but in some areas, obviously, it was really challenging," Gelber said.

Alex partially emerged from the remnants of Hurricane Agatha, which made landfall on Mexico's southern Pacific Coast last week, killing at least nine people and leaving five missing as it moved over land.

The storm's appearance was unusually early for the Atlantic hurricane season, which officially began last Tuesday, but it is not unprecedented for Florida.

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