Tropical Storm Alex heads to the Bermuda

Volunteers push a boat through a street flooded by heavy rains, to go and rescue a neighbor who...
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.(Ramon Espinosa | AP Photo Ramon Espinosa)
Published: Jun. 5, 2022 at 6:21 PM EDT
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ATLANTA, Ga. (AP) — Tropical Storm Alex, the first named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season, gained a bit more force Sunday as it headed toward Bermuda after killing three people in Cuba and causing flooding in parts of Florida.

Alex reached tropical storm force after strengthening off Florida’s east coast early Sunday.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center said Alex had maximum sustained winds of 65 mph (105 kph) and was centered about 395 miles (640 kilometers) west of Bermuda late Sunday afternoon.

It was moving to the east-northeast at a brisk 28 mph (44 kph) and was expected to pass near or just north of Bermuda on Monday. A tropical storm warning was in effect there. Forecasters said it could drop 1 to 2 inches (25 to 50 mm) of rain across Bermuda beginning late Sunday and into Monday.

National Security Minister Michael Weeks said emergency services were monitoring the storm.

In Cuba, Alex killed three people, damaged dozens of homes in Havana and cut off electricity in some areas, authorities reported.

Parts of South Florida experienced road flooding from heavy rain and wind Saturday. Officials in Miami were towing stranded vehicles from flooded roadways.

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. “There were some problems getting through on some streets, one of the main arteries was unpassable, but by and large water is dissipating.”

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

The Atlantic hurricane season officially began Tuesday. This is an unusually early start to the storm season but not unprecedented for Florida.