Sandy becomes hurricane on way to Jamaica

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Associated Press

Posted on October 24, 2012 at 11:39 AM

Updated Wednesday, Oct 24 at 1:31 PM

MIAMI (AP) -- Sandy has strengthened into a hurricane as its center nears Jamaica, with top sustained winds of near 80 mph (130 kph).

The U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami said Wednesday the storm was a Category 1 hurricane and could gain some more strength before it reaches Jamaica.

Hurricane-force winds extend by up to 25 miles (35 km) from the storm's center, which was about 65 miles (100 km) south of Kingston, Jamaica. It was moving north-northeast at 13 mph (20 kph).

13News meteorologist Craig Moeller says there could be a lot more rain and stronger winds late Sunday into Monday if "Sandy" stays closer to the coast. If it swings farther offshore, the impacts would be less.

AP-WF-10-24-12 1533GMT

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