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TS Fay to affect all 67 Fla. counties

MIAMI, Aug. 22 (UPI) -- Tropical Storm Fay's winds decreased to 45 mph over North Florida Friday, as the storm was poised to affect all 67 counties with heavy downpours.

At 2 p.m., Fay was about 40 miles north-northeast of Cedar Key, Fla., with 45 mph winds and a forecast of as much as 8 inches of rain, the National Hurricane Center in Miami said. Little change in strength was expected through Saturday morning.

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The storm that first hit the Florida Keys Monday and zig-zagged the peninsula for three landfalls was moving west near 4 mph, which forecasters said it would continue for two days, eventually reaching Alabama and Mississippi.

A tropical storm watch was declared from west of Destin, Fla., to the Mississippi-Alabama border, as tropical storm-force winds extended 140 miles outward, the center said.

The center said 20-30 inches of rain have fallen on some east-central coastal areas of Florida.

CNN reported seven Florida deaths have been attributed to Fay, including two drownings, four traffic accidents and one carbon monoxide poisoning death.

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