Tropical Storm Eta rapidly strengthens to 70 mph, expected to become hurricane

Tropics

MIAMI (AP) – Rain-heavy Tropical Storm Eta is strengthening rapidly as it heads toward a drenching collision with Central America.

The system ties the record for the most named storms in an Atlantic hurricane season.

Eta had maximum sustained winds of 70 mph Sunday night, and the U.S. National Hurricane Center said it was centered about 245 miles east of the Nicaragua-Honduras border and heading westward at 14 mph.

Forecasters expect Eta to become a hurricane overnight and to be approaching the Nicaraguan coast early Tuesday.

They say say central and northern Nicaragua into much of Honduras could get 15 to 25 inches of rain, with 35 inches in isolated areas.

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