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Tropical Storm Dean races toward Bahamas

MIAMI, Florida (CNN) -- As the storm that was once Chantal scattered over Mexico, a new storm, already classified a tropical storm, loomed over the eastern Caribbean north of the Virgin Islands.

At 2 p.m. EDT Wednesday

Tropical storm

19.2 degrees north latitude, 65.99 degrees west longitude

West-northwest at 25 mph

Sustained winds near 60 mph

Could turn northeastward.

Tropical storm warnings for southeastern Bahamas and Turks and Caicos Islands; watch for central Bahamas.

In-Depth: Hurricanes  

A tropical storm warning was in effect for the southeastern Bahamas, and the Turks and Caicos Islands as Tropical Storm Dean took aim. A tropical storm watch was in effect for the central Bahamas.

Dean's maximum sustained winds neared 60 miles per hour as the storm headed west-northwest at nearly 25 miles per hour.

Over Mexico, the tropical depression that was once Tropical Storm Chantal was dissipating over Mexico Wednesday after turning away from the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

Mexico discontinued all warnings and watches in effect on its coasts, although the Bay of Campeche was still experiencing high winds and rough seas.

At 11 a.m. EDT, the former Chantal still had maximum sustained winds of near 30 mph (45 km/h) although the center of the storm was losing form, the National Hurricane Center said. It was located about 30 miles (45 km) southeast of Villahermosa, Mexico, moving to the west-southwest near 10 mph (17 km/h).

The storm lost most of its punch crossing the Yucatan, though only hours before it had been just below hurricane strength. Initially, forecasters thought the storm would reach the Gulf of Mexico, where the warm waters could have boosted its strength. With the west-southwest turn, forecasters said Chantal's remnants would likely remain over land for the next 12 to 24 hours and dissipate.

Southeastern Mexico and Central America remained under threat of heavy rains, however, along the with possibility of flash floods and mudslides.

Chantal's arrival on the Yucatan coast on Monday forced about 2,000 people to flee their homes, but no injuries were reported.

The storm formed outside the eastern Caribbean last week and raced over the Windward Islands and toward the Central American coast at break-neck speed. Two people were killed in Trinidad as Chantal blew through.

But as the storm neared the Mexican coast, it slowed to a virtual standstill and slammed Chetumal with 13-foot waves and heavy rains before beginning a slow march over the Yucatan Peninsula.

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