Tropical Storm Cristobal forms near Bahamas, heading northwest

Then-tropical depression Cristobal over the western Atlantic ocean on August 22, 2014. NOAA

Last Updated Aug 24, 2014 10:23 AM EDT

NASSAU, Bahamas - A strengthening tropical depression that dumped heavy rains on parts of Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic was upgraded early Sunday to Tropical Storm Cristobal as it passed closer to the Bahamas, the U.S. Hurricane Center said.

Cristobal originally formed as depression over the Turks and Caicos Islands on Saturday. It was the fourth depression of the Atlantic hurricane season.

As of 8:00 a.m., Cristobal's maximum sustained winds were 45 mph and it was moving northwest near southeastern Bahamas, reports CBS Miami. It was located about 40 miles north northwest of Mayaguana island, the hurricane center said in a tropical advisory. The storm was moving northwest at about 9 mph.

Tropical Storm Cristobal's northwestward motion is expected to continue Sunday morning followed by a turn toward the north-northwest and a decrease in forward speed later Sunday and Monday.

A tropical storm warning has been issued for the Turks and Caicos and for the southeast and central Bahamas, with forecasters saying it could bring up to 8 inches of rain.

The storm was upgraded to a tropical depression on Saturday afternoon, and it had previously downed several trees and power lines in Puerto Rico, leaving more than 17,000 people without power and nearly 5,600 without water.

Police said in a statement that a small bridge collapsed Saturday in the central town of Barranquitas, isolating some 25 families in the area. No one was injured.

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