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Weakening Ophelia brings more rain and flood risk to U.S. East Coast


– Ophelia, downgraded to a post-tropical cyclone, brought more rain and wind as it moved along the Atlantic Coast of the United States, forecasters said on Sunday.

The weather system came ashore near Emerald Isle, North Carolina on Saturday where it doused the region with torrential downpours and unrelenting winds that caused flooding and widespread power outages.

Ophelia was expected to gradually weaken as it churned north-northeast, but heavy rainfall still threatened to cause flooding across a vast area of the Mid-Atlantic into southern New England, the National Hurricane Center (NOAA) said in its last advisory on the storm.

Between one and three inches of rain could fall in areas impacted by Ophelia, and forecasters warned that life-threatening surf and rip currents would impact much of the East Coast throughout the weekend.

In New Jersey, thousands of customers were without power as of Sunday morning and some localities received at least 4 inches of rain, local media reported.

The National Weather Service in New York expected one or two feet of “inundation above ground level” in waterfront areas of Long Island’s Suffolk County.

As winds whipped up by Ophelia slowed from hurricane-force on Saturday to around 25 mph (35 km/h) on Sunday, forecasters announced another storm had formed in the Atlantic.

Tropical storm Philippe was about 1,175 miles (1890 kilometers) west of the Cabo Verde islands which are near the West Coast of Africa.

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