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Leslie churns in Atlantic, becomes sixth hurricane of season

Tropical Storm Leslie gained steam over the Atlantic Ocean and was upgraded to a Category 1 hurricane — the sixth Atlantic hurricane of the season — the National Hurricane Center said Wednesday. NBC's Brian Williams reports.

Tropical Storm Leslie gained steam over the Atlantic Ocean and was upgraded to a Category 1 hurricane — the sixth Atlantic hurricane of the season — the National Hurricane Center said Wednesday.

“Maximum sustained winds are now 75 mph” with even higher gusts,  the NHC said in an alert. 

Leslie was about 465 miles southeast of Bermuda on Wednesday morning and was moving north at about 2 mph. "(Its) closest pass to Bermuda would be overnight Saturday night into early Sunday," said Jonathan Erdman, a meteorologist for The Weather Channel.


Current storm projections show Leslie tracking off the Eastern Seaboard to south of Nova Scotia, Canada, but not making landfall. "Leslie will continue to be a generator of waves along the East Coast, with a rip current threat persisting through Saturday from Florida to New England," Erdman said.

Leslie is expected to grow into a Category 2 hurricane by Saturday.

Related: Click here to see our storm tracker

Tropical Storm Michael, meanwhile, continues to churn farther east in the Atlantic. Storm projections show Michael growing into a Category 1 hurricane, perhaps by Wednesday evening, but it is not a threat to land. Michael is "well removed from any land interests," Erdman said, and is "not a wave generator for the East Coast."

The effects of Isaac, the storm that made landfall in Louisiana late last week as a hurricane, are still affecting parts of the United States.

U.S. regulators said about 50 percent of daily oil production and more than a quarter of daily natural gas output in the Gulf remains shut, Reuters reported.

Meanwhile, tar has washed ashore on some Louisiana beaches from Gulf waters churned by Isaac, according to The Associated Press.

Reuters and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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