TS Bret to dump rain over Venezuelan coast, SE Caribbean

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Tropical Storm Bret was expected to dump heavy rain over Venezuela's east coast and the southeastern Caribbean late Monday as it moved west across the region, forecasters said.

The storm's eye was located about 125 miles (200 kilometers) southeast of Trinidad Monday evening. It had maximum sustained winds of 40 mph (65 kph) with higher gusts, according to the National Hurricane Center in Miami.

The Caribbean island of Trinidad said it would close all public schools on Tuesday, while the sister island of Tobago expects to shutter its government offices. Meteorologists warned of waves of more than 9 feet (3 meters) along the islands' coasts and said up to five inches of rain could fall in Trinidad and in neighboring Grenada.

The storm prompted Trinidad-based Caribbean Airlines to cancel more than 30 flights on Monday.

A tropical storm warning is in effect for Trinidad, Tobago, Grenada, part of Venezuela's east coast and Isla de Margarita.

A tropical storm watch is in effect for the nearby Dutch Caribbean islands of Bonaire, Curacao and Aruba.

Bret was moving toward the west-northwest near 30 mph (48 kph) and was expected to continue at a slightly slower speed over the next two days.