Originally created 10/12/03

Tropical Storm Mindy spins toward Bahamas



SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico -- Tropical Storm Mindy churned toward the Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands on Saturday with winds of 45 mph and lashing rains, but it was expected to turn northward into the open ocean later in the day.

The rains battered Puerto Rico on Friday, leaving 30,000 homes without electricity. No injuries were reported.

The 13th named storm this season, Mindy was about 120 miles southeast of Grand Turk island and moving northwest at 13 mph away from Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. By Saturday afternoon it was expected to be heading northward, away from inhabited islands.

A tropical storm warning remained in effect for the far southeastern Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos.

Mindy has the potential for gradual strengthening over the next 24 hours, forecasters said.

A tropical cyclone becomes a tropical storm when sustained winds reach 39 mph.

The Atlantic hurricane season began June 1 and ends Nov. 30.