December 19, 2014
Forecasters have downgraded Bill to a Category 1 hurricane as it nears the U.S. coast, but tropical storm watches and warnings are still in effect for the Massachusetts coast and parts of Canada.
Bill was churning up rough seas, creating dangerous rip tides and closing beaches to swimmers up and down the eastern seaboard, including President Obama's vacation spot, Martha's Vineyard.
It was expected to pass the mainland well off New England, but was still packing high winds and waves that had safety officials urging extreme caution.
On Saturday evening, Bill had maximum sustained winds near 85 mph and was about 300 miles south-southeast of Nantucket, Mass., and about 585 miles south-southwest of Halifax, Nova Scotia.
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