Iota threatens 2nd tropical strike for Nicaragua, Honduras

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Tropical Storm Iota is brewing in the Caribbean Sea and threatening a second tropical strike for Nicaragua and Honduras …

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Tropical Storm Iota is brewing in the Caribbean Sea and threatening a second tropical strike for Nicaragua and Honduras

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Tropical Storm Iota was brewing in the Caribbean Sea early Saturday, threatening a second tropical strike for Nicaragua and Honduras, countries recently ransacked by a Category 4 Hurricane Eta.

The National Hurricane Center in Miami said Iota could bring dangerous wind, storm surge and as much as 30 inches (76 centimeters) of rainfall to the two Central American countries, approaching their coasts as early as Monday. The system formed Friday afternoon.

The storm was located early Saturday about 340 miles (545 kilometers) south-southeast of Kingston, Jamaica, and had maximum sustained winds of 40 mph (65 kph). There were no coastal warnings or watches in effect as of Saturday morning. Iota was moving to the west-southwest at 5 mph (7 kph).

The Tampa Bay area was buffeted with gusty winds and rain, and there was one U.S. death linked to Eta: In Bradenton Beach, Mark Mixon stepped into his flooded garage as he was laying sandbags around his home Wednesday evening and was electrocuted, said Jacob Saur, director of public safety for Manatee County.

Eta was the 28th named storm of this year’s hurricane season, tying the 2005 record for named storms. Theta, the 29th, was weakening over the far eastern Atlantic Ocean. It was expected to become a remnant low later Saturday, forecasters said.

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Frisaro reported from Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Associated Press photographer Lynne Sladky and video reporter Cody Jackson contributed to this report from Pinellas County and AP reporter Michelle Liu contributed from Columbia, S.C.

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