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Wilma Passing

National weather service meteorologist Bob Thompson says hurricane Wilma has spawned a powerful nor'easter, which is causing the rain and wind in the southern Northeast, especially along the coast.

Wilma is still a category three storm, but it's moved far into the Atlantic Ocean, off the east coast.

From the Associated Press:

BOSTON (AP) - An early nor'easter reinforced by distant Hurricane Wilma on Tuesday pounded beaches with 20-foot waves, knocked out power and spread rain across the Northeast, where many residents were still cleaning up from flooding earlier in the month.

The National Weather Service posted coastal flood warnings from New Jersey to Connecticut and issued high wind warnings for parts of New England.

Twenty-foot waves eroded New Jersey beaches. Minor coastal flooding was reported on Cape Cod, with power outages there and in Connecticut. Dozens of flights were canceled at Boston's Logan Airport and a gust to 47 mph was recorded near Boston.

The storm was drawing moisture from the remnants of Hurricane Wilma, which was passing far offshore after battering Florida a day earlier.

"It's getting some energy from Wilma, but it's its own separate system," said Alan Dunham, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Taunton. The nor'easter is "going to be a good storm in it's own right."

Residents of coastal resort communities had spent Monday securing boats and anything else that wasn't tied down.

"We're taking everything off the deck and patio to make sure there's no flying objects," said John Mulligan of Manasquan, N.J.

In Connecticut, downed trees closed roads in Easton and Harwinton, and 4,000 Northeast Utilities customers were without power Tuesday.

The wind apparently blew over a tractor-trailer rig crossing a bridge at Bourne, Mass., forcing the closure of one of the only two routes onto Cape Cod, authorities said.

At Bay Head, N.J., in Ocean County, 20-foot waves scoured away sand, leaving a wooden walkway connecting the beach to a street dangling several feet above the water. Up and down the Jersey coast, high waves gnawed at protective dunes in front of million-dollar homes.

However, Neal Buccino, a spokesman for New Jersey's Office of Emergency Management, said he knew of no evacuations due to high water.

The storm also brought an early taste of winter.

Buccino said snow was falling at the higher elevations of northwest New Jersey, with 2 to 4 inches possible. The weather service issued a winter storm watch for Massachusetts' Berkshires, with the potential for up to 7 inches of wet, heavy snow that could bring down tree limbs and power lines. Snow also was likely in the mountains of Maine.

The storm system came on top of record rainfall earlier in the month.

More than a week of storms washed away roads and houses in New Hampshire, blocked highways with mud and high water and flooded hundreds of people out of their homes in New Jersey and New Hampshire. The storms were blamed for at least 16 deaths from Pennsylvania to Maine. Thousands were evacuated in Taunton, Mass., where high water threatened to collapse an aging wooden dam.

Many areas got more than a foot of rain. In Providence, R.I., it's already been the wettest month on record, with 13.21 inches of rain beating the 12.74 inches that fell in April 1983. Worcester, Mass., topped its October 1955 record of 10.98 inches with the 13.46 that fell early this month.

Copyright 2005 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

This program aired on October 25, 2005. The audio for this program is not available.

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