MIAMI -- Two hurricanes named Maria and Nate and one tropical storm named Ophelia churned and swirled simultaneously in the Atlantic from the east coast of Florida north to Bermuda on Sept. 7 and 8, lending further credence to this hurricane season 2005 being one of the busiest, most active, costliest and deadliest.

Even as evacuations continued along the Gulf Coast from Hurricane Katrina, the National Hurricane Center eyed the brisk winds (reaching around 50 mph) and bands of rain from Tropical Storm Ophelia as she moved along the north Florida coast.

High winds and rain are predicted over the next few days as Ophelia meanders over the central and northern portions of the state. At last check, Ophelia was nearly stationary and just hanging out about 80 miles off the Florida coast near Cape Canaveral with a slow strengthening possible.

Meanwhile, Hurricane Nate, a Category 1 hurricane with winds topping 85 mph, lurked about 200 miles southwest of Bermuda and was expected to make it closest approach to Bermuda during the day on Thursday. Heavy rain and some flooding were predicted.

Hurricane Maria, also a Category 1 storm with winds hitting around 80 mph, moved across the North Atlantic and posed no threat to land.

To contact reporter Gay Nagle Myers, send e-mail to [email protected].

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