Tropical Storm Philippe brings flash flooding to Eastern Caribbean

ST JOHN'S, Antigua (Reuters) -Tropical Storm Philippe churned further northwest across the Caribbean on Tuesday, the U.S.-based National Hurricane Center said as it forecast strong winds and heavy rain over Anguilla and elsewhere in the Leeward Islands.

The storm was located about 70 miles (113 km) northwest of Anguilla, the NHC said, moving at some 10 mph (16 kph) and packing maximum sustained winds of 45 mph (72 kph).

Antigua lifted its storm warning on Tuesday, a day after Philippe made landfall, but maintained it for its sister island Barbuda and called on residents to continue to exercise caution.

Shelters remain open for people who had to evacuate overnight, Antigua's National Office of Disaster Services (NODS) said, after the storm flooded some homes and left people stranded in their vehicles.

NODS also reported that firefighters had mobilized to suppress a major fire exacerbated by strong gusts at the Yacht Club Marina, which houses the Alfa Nero superyacht, in English Harbour.

Heavy rains and flooding also lashed nearby Guadeloupe, where local authorities extended school closures and warned that factory shutdowns would cause interruptions to water supplies across the French territory.

Some 2,500 households remained without power by early Tuesday, authorities said, adding that no injuries had been reported overnight.

NHC tropical storm alerts were in effect for Anguilla and the British Virgin Islands, and the Miami-based forecaster advised residents of the northern Leeward Islands, U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico to monitor the storm's progress.

Philippe is forecast to produce up to 12 inches (30 cm) of rainfall from Anguilla southward to Montserrat, bringing scattered flash flooding.

(Reporting by Robertson Henry in St John's, Antigua; writing by Natalia Siniawski and Sarah Morland; editing by Marguerita Choy and Mark Heinrich)

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