Late season tropical disturbance to dump heavy rain on Puerto Rico

A late season tropical disturbance in the Caribbean has little chance of becoming a more powerful cyclone, but it still could deliver heavy rain to hurricane-battered Puerto Rico and flood-prone Haiti, National Hurricane Center forecasters said Thursday.

The low pressure system, a long band of showers and thunderstorms off Central America, will likely face high wind shear that prevents it from intensifying as it moves to the north, forecasters said. However, heavy rain is likely across Colombia, Hispaniola and Puerto Rico as the system meanders through the Caribbean, they said.

After a brutal hurricane season that included a lethal blow from Hurricane Maria, Puerto Rico remains particularly vulnerable. Half of Puerto Rico still lacks power and only 20 percent of the island has running water.

The National Weather Service office in Puerto Rico warned that storms are likely through Saturday, with flooding in cities and around rivers and streams possible, particularly where drainage is poor. The rain is expected to continue through Tuesday as a southerly wind continues to blow moisture over the island, but will give way to more typical fall weather with passing showers.

More than six weeks after Hurricane Maria, a lack of access to clean water remains a serious health concern for Puerto Rico's most vulnerable residents.

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