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Ernesto Soaks US Mid-Atlantic Coast

The storm called Ernesto, now just a tropical depression, is soaking the mid-Atlantic region of the United States with heavy rain and strong winds.

Authorities in the states of North Carolina and Virginia have reported up to 30 centimeters of rain since the storm came ashore Friday morning. Winds have been strong enough to blow down trees, blocking roadways and breaking power lines.

At least five deaths have been attributed to the storm.

Hundreds of people have been forced to evacuate their homes.

Several hundred thousand households in the Mid-Atlantic region are reported to be without power.

Residents have been warned to remain alert for flooding even though the storm is weakening as it moves northward.

The bad weather along the U.S. east coast comes as millions of Americans celebrate the long Labor Day holiday weekend that marks the unofficial end of the summer season.

Some information for this report was provided by AP.