Ernesto Downgraded to a Depression

Floridians checking for damage from Tropical Storm Ernesto won't find much.

Ernesto surprised forecasters by failing to strengthen Tuesday night before reaching the southern tip of the state. Rains weren't that bad; about half an inch fell at Miami International Airport.

Briefly a hurricane Sunday, Ernesto lost much of its punch crossing mountainous eastern Cuba. The decaying system made landfall at 11:30 Tuesday night on Plantation Key with 45 mile-an-hour winds.

It's expected to continue over Florida as a depression and head toward the Carolinas and possibly strengthen. Its top sustained winds decreased to 35 miles an hour and one of the highest wind gusts recorded was 58 miles an hour in Key Biscayne.

Ernesto is expected to turn to the north and increase in speed as it moves up the middle of Florida and exits on the northeast coast.


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