Environment Canada issued a tropical cyclone information statement saying that Tropical Storm Chris is expected to move northeastward from Carolina and gain strength by Tuesday.
"Based on the current track by the National Hurricane Center, it looks to be tracking well southeast of Nantucket", Buttrick said.
As the third named storm of the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season, Chris developed more than a month ahead of normal.
There was no early word on damage from the storm on Dominica.
Dominica Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit told people to store water because the government would be shutting down the water system as a precaution, and he warned them to stay alert despite the storm weakening. "They should not let their guard down", he said.
Off the U.S. East Coast, Tropical Storm Chris was centered about 160 miles (260 kilometers) south of Cape Hatteras, with maximum sustained winds of 45 mph (75 kph).
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National Weather Service meteorologist Carlos Anselmi told the AP that 1 to 2 inches (2.5 to 5 centimeters) of rain was expected across Puerto Rico, with double that in isolated areas. Some 60,000 people still have only tarps for roofs.
The same amount, two to three inches, was also expected to fall on the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, with up to five inches possible in some areas, through Tuesday.
"We're a little bit scared because of what we've been through", said Jose Bultron, a delivery man in the southeast town of Humacao.
Flooding is a big concern for those still living in homes that have not been fully rebuilt since Maria.
Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 45 miles (75 km) from the center. Lourdes De Jesus, who traveled from West Springfield, Massachusetts, to help fix her mother's house in southeast Yabucoa, said the roof consists of tarp and recycled zinc and leaks even during a light storm. Hurricane force winds for a Category 1 storm are 74 to 95 miles per hour.