Police slowly drove through drenched communities in the coastal capital with their cruisers' lights flashing. A senior police superintendent was shot in troubled West Kingston, but the circumstances were murky.

The storm was predicted to drop as much as 12 inches (25 centimeters) of rain, especially over central and eastern parts of Jamaica, the country's meteorological service said. Some isolated spots could see as much as 20 inches (50 centimeters), according to U.S. forecasters. Sea water washed over the streets of southern coastal towns like Port Royal, a depressed fishing village at the tip of a spit of land near Kingston's airport.

Airports in Kingston and Montego Bay shut down for the day and Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. announced that its Allure of the Seas megaship would not stop at Jamaica's northern Falmouth terminal on Wednesday, remaining at sea instead. Other cruise lines also rerouted ships from port calls to Montego Bay and Ocho Rios.