Watches, warnings for Sandy along Florida coast

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MIAMI (AP) — Forecasters have issued tropical storm warnings and watches for parts of the southeastern coast of Florida and Keys ahead of Hurricane Sandy that is pounding Jamaica.

Forecasters at the U.S. National Hurricane Center on Wednesday issued a warning for Ocean Reef to the Sebastian Inlet. Watches are out for north of Sebastian Inlet to Flagler Beach and the Florida Upper Keys.

Forecasters say tropical storm conditions were possible by Friday morning.

The 18th named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season was making landfall in Jamaica and forecast to spin into eastern Cuba overnight. It was expected to pass west of the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay and possibly brush Florida.

Sandy is a Category 1 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 80 mph (130 kph).

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