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Carolinas on storm warning

BY PJ HELLER | SURF CITY, N.C. | October 11, 2002

Residents and response groups along the South Carolina and North Carolina coast were keeping tabs Friday on Kyle after it regained its tropical storm status and continued its trek toward land.

The center of the storm, with winds of 40 mph, was expected to pass over northeastern South Carolina and southeastern North Carolina Friday afternoon and evening. It was moving to the north-northwest at about 12 mph and was forecast to turn northward, then to the northeast, later Friday.

Forecasters said the storm could dump 3 to 5 inches of rain. Tides of 1 to 2 feet above normal that could cause some coastal flooding were also predicted. Isolated tornadoes were possible throughout Friday, forecasters said.

Faith-based groups such as North Carolina Interfaith Disaster Response reported they were monitoring the storm.

Many residents had been hoping for a fairly gentle tropical storm to relieve some of the drought conditions that have stricken the area.

The National Weather Service early Friday extended a tropical storm warning along the North Carolina coast. The warning was in effect from south Santee River, S.C., to Surf City, N.C.

Officials said they expected little change in storm strength Friday. Kyle's status has been changed nine times -- ranging from tropical depression to a hurricane -- since it was first formed Sept. 20 southeast of Bermuda.

Rain moving ahead of the storm was reported from Beaufort to Edisto Beach. S.C.

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