CRYSTAL RIVER, Fla. -- Tropical Storm Henri weakened into a tropical depression Saturday and spared most of Florida the heavy rain the already saturated state had feared.
Out in the Atlantic, meanwhile, Bermuda islanders awoke to streets litter with tree limbs and overturned vehicles in the wake of Hurricane Fabian, and Tropical Storm Isabel formed about 625 miles west of the Cape Verde Islands.
Isabel, the ninth named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season, had maximum sustained winds near 40 mph Saturday morning and was expected to strengthen as it moved west at about 13 mph.
The depression that had been Tropical Storm Henri had sustained winds Saturday morning of 30 mph, well below the 39 mph threshold for a tropical storm.
"It's zipping across the state," said James Franklin, a hurricane specialist at the National Hurricane Center. "There's not a lot of wind, and there's no longer a large amount of rainfall with it."
Franklin said a small patch of thunderstorms was located near the center of the storm, but because it was moving so quickly, the state should be spared another soaking as the storm move toward the Atlantic Saturday.
Henri had already brought more than 7 inches of rain to some southwest parts of the state, adding to summerlong flooding problems.
More than four inches of rain fell in a two-hour span in Punta Gorda on Friday, flooding the city's streets, said Wayne Sallade, Charlotte County's director of emergency management. By Saturday, most of the streets had drained.
At least 31 high school football games in six counties were canceled because of the storm.
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