Panhandle Beaches Brace for Ernesto's Waves

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PENSACOLA, Fla. (AP) -- The Florida Panhandle is bracing for big waves generated by Tropical Storm Ernesto's crossing of the far southern Gulf of Mexico.

Authorities say the waves create strong rip currents when they hit shore.

Pensacola Beach senior lifeguard Andrew Edwards says that swimmers should be cautious. Ten rescues were made Thursday on Pensacola Beach.

State meteorologist Amy Godsey says the ocean swells generated by Ernesto will affect the northern Gulf coast through the rest of the week.

Ernesto came ashore Thursday near Coatzacoalcos, a major oil port in Mexico's southern Gulf region. The storm weakened as it moved inland and was expected to dissipate Friday.

Ernesto made its first landfall as a Category 1 hurricane late Tuesday in the Yucatan Peninsula.

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