Sandy downgraded from hurricane to tropical storm

Associated Press
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As Hurricane Sandy moves up the East Coast, owners remove their boats from the water at the Atlantic Highlands Marina, Friday Oct. 26, 2012 in Atlantic Highlands, N.J. When Hurricane Sandy becomes a hybrid weather monster some call "Frankenstorm" it will smack the East Coast harder and wider than last year's damaging Irene, forecasters said Friday. (AP Photo/Joe Epstein)

BLOOMSBURG, Pa. (AP) — The National Weather Service has downgraded Sandy from a hurricane to a tropical storm but warns that "widespread impacts" are still expected into next week for the U.S. East Coast.

The storm was expected to increase in speed and move away from the Bahamas and parallel to the southeast coast of the United States later this weekend.

Maximum sustained winds dropped to near 70 mph early Saturday, pushing it below the threshold for being classified as a hurricane. However, the weather service said it was possible that the storm could regain strength by Sunday night.

Sandy killed more than 40 people in the Caribbean, wrecked homes and knocked down trees and power lines.