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Tropical Storm Nicole forms, may skirt Florida

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By Associated Press

HAVANA (AP) — Newly formed Tropical Storm Nicole soaked central and eastern Cuba on Wednesday, washing out some roads but sparing the crumbling buildings of the capital as the system pushed northeast toward the Bahamas. At least one death was recorded due to flooding in Jamaica.

The storm had sustained winds of 40 mph (65 kph) and it was not expected to grow much further as it passes over the ocean east of Florida on a track that could carry it over parts of the Bahamas by evening, according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami.

It said the sprawling system could still cause heavy rains and spawn tornadoes in Florida, however.

By late Wednesday morning, the storm was centered about 120 miles (195 kilometers) east-southeast of Havana and 260 miles (420 kilometers) southwest of Nassau in the Bahamas. It was advancing toward the northeast at 9 mph (15 kph)

Cuba's chief meteorologist, Jose Rubiera, said the storm rolled across a swath of the west-central island overnight and its center was moving north of the island. Bands behind its core were continuing to bring heavy rains, however.

Rubiera said wind associated with the storm was not a threat, but that provinces from Matanzas east all the way to Guantanamo would continue to face downpours throughout the day.


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