Tropical storm Ernesto soaks Florida east coast, Keys

Tropical storm Ernesto sloshed ashore in Florida late on Aug. 29, creating more ripples than riptides after making landfall.

Although much of Florida's east coast and the Florida Keys got a solid drenching, the intensity of the storm was far less than what originally had been forecast.

Officials at the National Hurricane Center warned, however, that Ernesto could intensify if it swung out over the Atlantic on its move up the east coast later this week.

Several airlines canceled flights into and out of Florida Aug. 29 and 30 in anticipation of Ernesto, but most are allowing passengers to rebook at a later date with no penalties.

Norwegian Cruise Line earlier had altered the Norwegian Dawn's scheduled calls in the Bahamas this week, substituting a stay in Bermuda until Aug. 31 and spending a day at sea on Sept. 1. The ship will arrive back in New York on Sept. 2.

The Caribbean dodged the bullet on this one, although the storm triggered mudslides and some flooding along its path over the southeastern coast of the Dominican Republic and Haiti.

The one reported death from the storm occurred in Haiti.

Warnings and watches have been discontinued for the Bahamas.

Officials in the Florida Keys said they expect the Keys to be able to receive tourists before the beginning of Labor Day weekend.

To contact the reporter who wrote this article, send e-mail to Gay Nagle Myers at [email protected].

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