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Friday, February 28, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Tropical Storm Colin heads out to sea after drenching Florida with rain

By Jack Jones Associated Press

Colin headed out to sea Tuesday after dumping as much as 9 inches of rain on parts of Florida, forcing at least one city to pump partially treated sewage into the Gulf of Mexico because the system was overloaded with rainwater.

Colin flooded roads and caused thousands of power outages in Florida, and a team investigated a possible tornado related to the storm that damaged homes and toppled trees in Jacksonville. The city of St. Petersburg said it was pumping sewage into Tampa Bay because its sewer system has been overloaded with rainwater infiltrating leaky sewer pipes.

Although the storm was out to sea, forecasters said, Colin is expected to produce additional rainfall of up to 2 inches across far eastern North Carolina, and as much as 5 inches across central Florida through Tuesday evening.

The U.S. Hurricane Center said Colin, which formed Sunday, was the earliest a third named storm had developed during the Atlantic hurricane season, which officially began June 1.

Tropical storm warnings were discontinued on Tuesday as the remnants of Colin sped from the mid-Atlantic coast and out to sea.

Although maximum sustained winds were at 68 mph with higher gusts, the system’s strongest winds and heaviest rains were over water and southeast of the center. The hurricane center said some slight strengthening was possible Tuesday night but gradual weakening was expected to begin Wednesday.

Pearson said he expected skies to clear along the Outer Banks, good news for tourists who have flocked there for early summer vacations.

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