Ida returns to tropical storm strength

November 9, 2009 10:08:49 AM PST
Ida has become a tropical storm again, with top winds of 45 mph (72 kph), as it swirls in the Caribbean on a track that could bring it to the U.S. Gulf Coast next week.

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Ida came ashore in Nicaragua as a hurricane Thursday before weakening and dumping rain on Central America. Thousands were evacuated but no deaths were reported.

The storm edged back over the Caribbean the next day, where nourishing waters are helping it build its muscle back up.

The still tentative forecast track showed Ida grazing the Cancun region of Mexico early next week, then taking aim at the U.S. Gulf Coast.

Early Saturday, the storm was centered about 135 miles (215 kilometers) northeast of Limon Hondurus, and it was moving north at near 8 mph (13 kph).

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