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Tropical Storm Julia Drenches Florida; Flash Flood Watches

by Phil Helsel /  / Updated 
IMAGE: Tropical Storm Julia
Satellite imagery shows tropical storm Julia along Florida's northeast coast on Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2016.NOAA

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Florida’s northeast coast was drenched by Tropical Storm Julia early Wednesday, leaving 6 million people under a flash flood watch.

The storm was 50 miles north of Jacksonville with maximum sustained winds of 40 mph at 5 a.m. ET on Wednesday, the National Weather Service said.

A tropical storm warning was in place from Fernandina Beach in Florida to Altamaha Sound in Georgia.

It was expected to dump between 3 and 6 inches of rain on northeast Florida, Georgia and parts of the South Carolina coastlines through Friday afternoon, forecasters said.

"Gradual weakening is forecast during the next day or so, and Julia is expected to weaken to a tropical depression later [Wednesday]," the NWS added.

Some isolated areas could get up to 10 inches of rain and flash floods are possible, the weather service said. Florida Gov. Rick Scott urged residents to review and evacuation plan just in case.

"We know that heavy rainfall is expected across northeastern Florida between Daytona Beach and the Florida – Georgia border for the next several days," Scott said.

He also urged residents to dump standing water in an effort to help control mosquitoes which can carry the Zika virus.

Parts of Florida were flooded after Hurricane Hermine struck the state's northwest Gull of Mexico coast on Sept. 2. Two deaths, one in Florida and one in North Carolina, were blamed on the storm.

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