Hermine weakens as it lingers offshore

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) " Tropical storm Hermine weakened but lingered as it churned in the Atlantic Ocean on Tuesday, and forecasters said it could continue to affect coastal areas of southern New England with high surf and dangerous riptides for another two days.

The National Weather Service at midday Tuesday discontinued the tropical storm warning associated with the Hermine, which was about 150 miles southwest of Nantucket, Massachusetts, and moving west at 3 mph. Sustained winds remained at about 60 mph over the ocean, but onshore impacts were expected to be minimal.

New York officials extended beach closures beyond Labor Day because of continued deadly rip currents, but some ignored the warnings.

The New York Post said police issued $80 tickets to at least four surfers at Rockaway Beach. An emergency worker who dived into the Atlantic Ocean at Coney Island to save a swimmer who violated the ban told the Post the current felt like a "300-pound guy pulling me back out to sea."

In New Jersey, big waves pushed water up to the base of dunes in some areas of the state hit hard by Superstorm Sandy in October 2012, including Point Pleasant Beach, Bay Head, Mantoloking and Brick. But no flooding or other damage was reported.

While many communities felt like they dodged a bullet, the threat of Hermine caused many vacationers to cancel their holiday plans.

MD Mahabub Khan has worked as a taxi cart pusher at the shore for 27 years and said he still attracted some business over the weekend, but the smaller crowds were noticeable.

"People from New York and New Jersey are kind of stuck here (during bad weather), so they can still come," if forecasts don't play out as predicted, Khan said.

Hermine rose over the Gulf of Mexico and hit Florida on Friday as a Category 1 hurricane before weakening to a tropical storm across Georgia. It has caused at least three deaths, inflicted widespread property damage and knocked out power to hundreds of thousands of people from Florida to Virginia.


Associated Press writers Megan Trimble and Wayne Parry in Atlantic City, New Jersey, contributed to this report.

This story has been automatically published from the Associated Press wire which uses US spellings

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