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Tropical Storm Isaias nears Florida coast before heading for the Carolinas

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iStock/imagedepotproBy: DANIEL MANZO, EMILY SHAPIRO and DAN PECK, ABC News

(JACKSONVILLE, Fla.) — Tropical storm conditions are nearing the East Coast of Florida Sunday morning as Tropical Storm Isaias brings heavy rain and strong winds to parts of the Bahamas.

Isaias, which had been a hurricane, weakened late Saturday.

Tropical Storm Isaias now has winds of 65 mph and is about 55 miles southeast of Fort Pierce, Florida.

Tropical storm watches and warnings now stretch from Florida to North Carolina and may move further north.

Isaias will pick up forward speed and accelerate into the Northeast U.S., likely tracking very close to I-95 from Washington, D.C. to Philadelphia to New York City and then moving into New England.

The current forecast track shows the center of Isaias moving near or over the East Coast of Florida into Sunday night.

Tropical storm-force wind gusts are already hitting Juno Beach to Port St. Lucie.

Isaias is expected to bring six inches of rain to parts of eastern Florida and a storm surge of 1 to 4 feet.

In St. Lucie County, officials on Sunday urged residents to avoid the beaches for several days due to rough surf and rip currents.

St. Lucie County officials said they’re also concerned about power outages.

Isaias may be near Jacksonville or Daytona Beach by Monday morning. Isaias will then move back over the ocean, passing by Georgia, before moving into the Carolinas.

Some areas of coastal North Carolina are under mandatory evacuation orders.

States of emergency have been declared in Florida, North Carolina and Virginia.

Isaias is expected to pick up speed and accelerate into the Northeast, likely tracking very close to Interstate 95 from Washington, D.C., to Philadelphia to New York City and then moving into New England.

In the Carolinas and the Mid-Atlantic, the main threat will be very heavy rain and coastal flooding.

By Tuesday evening, the storm will likely pass very close to New York City with torrential rain and some coastal flooding.

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