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Storm Nicole Floods Islands, Dissipates; Heavy Rain Set for U.S.

Sept. 29 (Bloomberg) -- Tropical Storm Nicole dropped heavy rains that cut roads, washed away bridges and homes and may have killed at least one child as it moved through Jamaica, Cuba and the Cayman Islands before dissipating over the Straits of Florida today.

One child was reported swept away when a house succumbed to flood waters, according to Jamaica’s Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management’s website. Cuba’s meteorological institute reported “intense and heavy rains” were falling in its central provinces and warned of flooding in low-lying areas from east of Havana to Guantanamo.

Nicole has since become untrackable, according to a National Hurricane Center advisory at 5 p.m. East Coast time.

The disappearance of Nicole doesn’t mean that New York and the rest of the U.S. East Coast will be spared heavy rains starting overnight, said Carl Erickson, senior meteorologist at commercial forecaster AccuWeather Inc. in State College, Pennsylvania.

“The weather forecast hasn’t changed much, you just can’t attach a name to it,” Erickson said. “Regardless whether Nicole existed or not, the situation was going to remain the same, a tremendous amount of tropical moisture is coming up the East Coast.”

Flood watches are now posted from South Carolina to New Hampshire in advance of the storm, according to the National Weather Service.

New York Rain

As much as 6 inches (15 centimeters) of rain may fall in New York’s five boroughs said Joe Pollina, a weather service meteorologist in Upton, New York. Some areas may receive more.

Pollina said the heaviest rain will arrive in two waves, the first will be tomorrow from 2 a.m. to 6 a.m., followed by a second late tomorrow night.

“Torrential rains could be falling from the Carolinas all the way up to New York City,” said Meredith Croke, a meteorologist for AirDat LLC in North Carolina, which installs weather-gathering sensors on commercial aircraft.

Washington and Baltimore were forecast to receive as much as 4 inches of rain, as were New Jersey, eastern Pennsylvania including Philadelphia, and Delaware, according to the weather service. Some areas in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware may get 7 inches, the weather service said.

In addition, the weather service has issued a high-wind watch for eastern Long Island, parts of Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts, as well as eastern Maine starting tomorrow. Wind gusts as intense as 60 miles (96 kilometers) per hour may occur through the day after tomorrow.

Weekend Weather

The wet weather should be gone by this weekend, Erickson said.

Before it dissipated, Nicole was the 14th storm with winds of at least 39 miles per hour of the 2010 Atlantic hurricane season, which runs from June 1 to Nov. 30. The average season produces 11 storms, according to the hurricane center.

The center is also tracking two tropical waves over the central Atlantic that it says have a 10 percent chance each of becoming tropical cyclones within two days. A tropical cyclone is a rotating storm ranging from a depression to a hurricane.

To contact the reporter on this story: Brian K. Sullivan in Boston at bsullivan10@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dan Stets at dstets@bloomberg.net

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