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Hurricane Juan bears down on Nova Scotia

HALIFAX, Nova Scotia -- Hurricane Juan headed for landfall in Nova Scotia yesterday with sustained winds of 100 miles per hour and higher gusts, threatening tidal surges of 5 feet on the coast, forecasters said.

Canadian officials issued hurricane wind warnings for Nova Scotia, though Juan was expected to weaken as it hit colder waters before reaching shore.

"By this evening, you'll be getting the full effects of this storm in Nova Scotia," said Chris St. Clair, a forecaster with Canada's Weather Network.

The storm was expected to hit land near St. Margaret's Bay, about 25 miles west of Halifax, at around high tide, bringing up to 4 inches of rain.

At 5 p.m. EDT, Juan's maximum sustained winds of 100 miles per hour were down 5 miles per hour from earlier in the day, according to the US National Hurricane Center in Miami. It was a Category 2 hurricane, a rating for storms with sustained winds of up to 110 miles per hour.

Juan was centered about 240 miles south of Halifax, moving north at about 23 miles per hour -- 12-miles-per-hour faster than earlier in the day.

Margaret Murphy, spokeswoman for Nova Scotia Power, said crews were on standby for power outages last night.

The last hurricane to hit Nova Scotia was Gustav on Sept. 12, 2002. It caused little damage, though it dumped 3.9 inches of rain and had wind speeds over 75 miles per hour.

Meanwhile yesterday, Tropical Storm Kate swirled in the Atlantic far from land, a day after forming. Its center was about 1,240 miles southwest of Lajes in the Azores Islands. At 5 p.m., Kate had maximum sustained winds near 60 miles per hour and was moving north-northeast near 12 miles per hour.

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