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Tropical Storm Bertha inundates Puerto Rico

| Saturday, Aug. 2, 2014, 7:42 p.m.
A surfer enters the water to take advantage of the high waves in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Saturday, Aug. 2, 2014. Bertha pushed just south of Puerto Rico on Saturday as it unleashed heavy rains and strong winds across the region.(AP Photo/Ricardo Arduengo)

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — Tropical Storm Bertha pushed just south of Puerto Rico on Saturday as it unleashed heavy rains and strong winds across the region, knocking out power on some islands in the eastern Caribbean.

The storm's maximum sustained winds dropped slightly to 45 mph, and slow strengthening is expected by Sunday night.

The storm passed southwest Puerto Rico and was headed toward the eastern Dominican Republic on Saturday night.

Gov. Alejandro Garcia Padilla warned of flooding, landslides and swollen rivers, which he urged people not to try to cross.

Police said a man is recovering from injuries he received when lightning struck next to him as he emerged from a tent in the northeast coastal town of Luquillo. Garcia initially had said the man was a surfer.

About 9,000 people were without power and more than 1,300 without water. The lights went out at the island's emergency management agency during a news conference.

The heaviest rains fell in the island's southern and eastern regions, with authorities warning people to stay indoors.

Jose Colon Rivera, 50, who lives in a rural area near the southern town of Cayey, said in a phone interview that he could hear the wind whistling loudly through his zinc roof.

“If anything happens, I can always run,” said Colon, who was watching wrestling on TV as he waited for the storm to pass.

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