NATIONAL BRIEFING / FLORIDA

Times Wire Reports

Tropical Storm Claudette crept up on the Florida Panhandle, dumping heavy rain in some areas. If it comes ashore, it will be the first tropical storm to strike the U.S. mainland this year.

Claudette was not expected to cause significant flooding or wind damage. But Tropical Storm Bill was expected to turn into a hurricane today as it moved over warm waters in the open Atlantic.

On Pensacola Beach, the National Park Service closed low-lying roads that connect the restaurants and hotels to the undeveloped National Seashore and historic Ft. Pickens. The Park Service said campers would be ordered to leave because of the likelihood of the road flooding.

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