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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Early bands of heavy rain from Isaias lashed Florida's east coast before dawn Sunday as authorities warily eyed the approaching storm, which threatened to snarl efforts to quell surging cases of the coronavirus across the region.

Isaias weakened from a hurricane to a tropical storm late Saturday afternoon but was still expected to bring heavy rain and flooding as it barrels toward Florida.

"Don't be fooled by the downgrade," Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis warned during a news conference on Saturday after the storm - pronounced ees-ah-EE-ahs - spent hours roughing up the Bahamas.

Florida authorities closed beaches, parks and virus testing sites, lashing signs to palm trees so they wouldn't blow away. The governor said the state is anticipating power outages and asked residents to have a week's supply of water, food and medicine on hand. Officials wrestled with how to prepare shelters where people can seek refuge from the storm if necessary, while safely social distancing to prevent the spread of the virus.

In Palm Beach County, about 150 people were in shelters, said emergency management spokeswoman Lisa De La Rionda. The county has a voluntary evacuation order for those living in mobile or manufactured homes, or those who feel their home can't withstand winds.

"We don't anticipate many more evacuations," she said, adding that the evacuees are physically distant from each other and are wearing masks, due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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Hurricanes with names that start with the letter "I" are historically the most dangerous, according to AccuWeather.

Isaias is piling another burden on communities already hard-hit by other storms and sickness.

The storm's maximum sustained winds declined steadily throughout Saturday, and were at 65 mph (100 kph) by Sunday morning, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said at 8 a.m. EDT. The storm's center was located 40 miles (70 kilometers) east-southeast of West Palm Beach.

The center of the storm was forecast to approach the southeast coast of Florida early Sunday morning, then travel up the state's east coast throughout the day. Little change was expected in the storm's strength over the next few days, forecasters said.

Heavy rain, flooding and high winds could batter much of the East Coast this week as the system is forecast to track up or just off the Atlantic seaboard.

Despite the approaching storm, NASA says the return of two astronauts aboard a SpaceX capsule is still on track for Sunday afternoon. Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken are preparing to make the first splashdown return in 45 years, after two months docked at the International Space Station. They are aiming for the Gulf of Mexico just off the Florida Panhandle, and flight controllers are keeping close watch on the storm.

Isaias has already been destructive in the Caribbean: On Thursday, before it became a hurricane, it uprooted trees, destroyed crops and homes and caused widespread flooding and small landslides in the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico. One man died in the Dominican Republic. In Puerto Rico, the National Guard rescued at least 35 people from floodwaters that swept away one woman, whose body was recovered Saturday.

RELATED | 2020 hurricane season: This year's storm name list
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For the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season, forecasters predict 14 to 20 tropical storms, seven to 11 hurricanes, and four to six major hurricanes, according to AccuWeather.

Isaias snapped trees and knocked out power as it blew through the Bahamas on Saturday and churned toward the Florida coast.

As the storm moves now toward the southeast coast of Florida, a tropical storm warning is in effect from Hallandale Beach, Florida, to South Santee River, South Carolina, and for Florida's Lake Okeechobee. A storm surge watch is in effect for Jupiter Inlet to Ponte Vedra Beach, and from Edisto Beach, South Carolina, to Cape Fear, North Carolina.

Coronavirus cases have surged in Florida in recent weeks, and the added menace of a storm ratcheted up the anxiety. State-run virus testing sites are closing in areas where the storm might hit because the sites are outdoor tents, which could topple in high winds.

Natalie Betancur, stocking up at a grocery in Palm Beach Gardens, said that the storm itself doesn't cause her a great amount of concern.

"The hurricane is not that serious, but I feel that the public is really panicking because it's a hurricane and we're in the middle of a pandemic," she said.

Meanwhile, officials in the Bahamas opened shelters for people in Abaco island to help those who have been living in temporary structures since Dorian devastated the area, killing at least 70 people.

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Pussycat Dolls Star Ashley Roberts Abs Get Soaking Wet In A Bikini: Beach, Please

Ashley wowed in a two-piece in Turkey.

It was all about the abs for Ashley Roberts this week when she shared a sizzling new bikini photo with her fans on Instagram. The stunning Pussycat Dolls singer flashed her seriously toned middle in a two-piece while she channelled her inner Bond girl by making her way out of the ocean just as Halle Berry did during an infamous scene in the 2002 movie Die Another Day.

The gorgeous new photo was shared on Tuesday, August 11. It showed the “React” hitmaker in a multi-colored floral bikini that perfectly framed her flawless body and showed off her glowing tan.

Ashley stood face on to the camera in the upload as she exited the water. Her blond hair was down and dripping wet after her dip in the ocean. She pushed her locks back away from her face and flashed a big smile while her eyes were covered by a pair of 1950s inspired red-rimmed sunglasses.

As for her bikini, it was made up of a crop top-style top which stretched across her chest with only very tiny strings over both shoulders. It featured a pink, yellow, and blue floral design for a fun, tropical look.

She kept things matching on her bottom half with a pair of briefs in the same material. The bottoms sat low below her navel while the sides were pulled up to make her very toned legs look extra long.

View this post on Instagram

Beach, please ???? . . . #holiday #happyplace #beach #gifted #grateful #yass

A post shared by ASHLEY ROBERTS (@iamashleyroberts) on Aug 11, 2020 at 9:04am PDT

Ashley placed her hands on either side of the bottoms and had her left leg bent as she walked back onto the sand. The stunning blue ocean stretched for miles behind her, while boats and a series of mountains could be seen behind her.

Her geotag and a tag on the photo indicated that she was vacationing at D Maris Bay on the Datça Peninsula in Turkey. She also added a number of hashtags to her sizzling new upload, including #happyplace, #beach, and #grateful.

“So gorg,” one person commented on the snap.

Another called Ashley’s look “a vibe” with a fire symbol.

“Looking sooo beautiful ashley,” another Instagram user said with a combination of fire and heart eye emoji.

“Whew!! more than just the weather that looks hot in that picture,” a fourth comment read.

The singer and dancer’s new upload has so far received more than 15,000 likes and over 175 comments.

But this isn’t the first time the star has given fans a look at her flawless, toned body via social media.

Earlier this year, she wowed her followers when she slipped into a nude two-piece for another gorgeous picture, this time a mirror selfie, which she shared to her Instagram account.

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