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Storm set for double punch

Tropical Storm Ernesto was set to deliver a double whammy to the U.S., making landfall first in South Florida, then heading toward the Carolinas for another landfall.

BY SUSAN KIM | BALTIMORE | August 29, 2006

Tropical Storm Ernesto was set to deliver a double whammy to the U.S., making landfall first in South Florida, then heading toward the Carolinas for another landfall.

There is still a small chance the storm could strengthen into a hurricane before reaching Florida sometime Tuesday night or Wednesday morning. Rain, not wind, is likely to be the problem. Ernesto could dump up to 10 inches of rain over eastern and southern Florida.

After it re-emerges over the Atlantic, Ernesto could again re-strengthen into a hurricane before hitting South Carolina or North Carolina, according to the National Hurricane Center.

Forecasters said the storm will then be drawn northward into the eastern Great Lakes area and possibly become a significant extra-tropical, low-pressure system. This means at least some states that experienced severe flooding earlier this summer have the potential to get hit again.

Early Monday morning, the storm had top sustained winds of 45 mph, and was churning about 230 miles southeast of Key West.

On Sunday, Ernesto briefly became the first hurricane of the 2006 Atlantic hurricane season. It battered Haiti and the Dominican Republic, killing two people in Haiti.


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Atlantic storm morphs into Javier

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More links on Tropical Storms

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