Dennis Spares Mississippi Coast

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Coastal Mississippi was spared the worst of Hurricane Dennis Sunday, but the central and northern parts of the state braced for possible torrential rains and powerful winds as the storm moved inland toward the Mississippi-Alabama border.

Officials turned their attention to areas inland, warning that hurricane-force winds and flooding rains were possible from the southeast into northeastern counties late Sunday and into Monday.

By late Sunday, strong winds knocked trees and utility poles over in Meridian and forced some road closures.

As it moved inland, the hurricane's next-biggest threat, tornadoes, took over. Tornado watches and warnings were posted as far north as Atlanta.