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August 23, 2009

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US coastal towns brace for tropical storm Bill

WAVES from Hurricane Bill pounded Bermuda early yesterday as people along the United States' East Coast from northern Florida to New England braced for high surf and rip currents.

Bill continued to swirl over the Atlantic's open waters as a Category 2 storm with maximum sustained winds of 165 kilometers per hour. The US National Hurricane Center in Miami said it could regain intensity over the weekend as its center passes between Bermuda and the eastern seaboard.

A tropical storm warning was issued for the Massachusetts coast, including the islands of Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard, meaning tropical storm-force winds of 64 kilometers per hour or more could hit the coastline in the next 24 hours.

A storm watch also remained in effect for Bermuda, though a hurricane watch was canceled.

The streets of Bermuda's capital were empty and rainswept on Friday night. Luxury boutiques boarded up windows and at the bar of the Fairmont Hamilton Princess hotel guests sipped the "Dark 'n Stormy" cocktail as Bill's winds raked the island.


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