The remnants of the storm that dumped up to 11 inches of rain in
the Florida Panhandle on Wednesday had moved into the Atlantic Ocean
by early Thursday, said Dan Petersen, a National Weather Service
"It's winding down pretty quickly," he said, but added that northern
Florida and Georgia could get another 2 inches of rain before the
system moved on.
Florida rescue teams took to boats to pull stranded residents from
the fast-moving floodwaters after 11 inches of rain pounded
Pensacola and nearby Mobile, Alabama, on Wednesday.
The downpour added to the water levels of streams and rivers already
swollen from a tornado-generating system that killed at least 35
people and injured hundreds in the U.S. South over a period of three
days. Alabama officials on Thursday estimated damage in the state at
close to $6.7 million.
And late Thursday, the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency said
that a child who had been missing in hard-hit Winston County was
dead. Tornadoes and other severe weather on Monday resulted in 14
deaths in the state, the agency said.
Near Lake Charlene, Florida, state wildlife officers evacuated a
92-year-old bedridden woman trapped by rising waters, the wildlife
agency said in a statement.
The rescue boat motor failed, so officers walked it down the flooded
street, loaded the woman into the boat on a backboard and pushed her
to an ambulance.
Severe storms in Florida were thought to have contributed to an
explosion and fire at a jail late on Wednesday that killed two
inmates and injured about 150 guards and other inmates.
Heavy rain in New Jersey, where a one-day record of 4.03 inches was
set for Trenton, caused the Cooper and Delaware rivers to overflow.
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In Camden, New Jersey, water rose several hundred yards (meters)
onto the Delaware waterfront. Camden County rescue teams had to help
save several stranded motorists, county spokesman Dan Keashen said.
"This was what we'd consider a five-year storm, but we're getting
these annually," he said.
Flood watches were in place throughout the Philadelphia area, with
numerous reports of road and bridge closings in Pennsylvania, New
Jersey and Delaware.
Flood warnings were also posted around Washington and in
Connecticut, where Bridgeport set a single-day record of 2.5 inches
Parts of Laurel, Maryland, were under water after authorities opened
floodgates on Wednesday at a leaking Patuxent River dam, the city
said in a statement.
(Reporting by Ian Simpson, Richard Weizel in Connecticut, Daniel
Kelley in Pennsylvania, Barbara Liston in Florida and Verna Gates in
Alabama; editing by Gunna Dickson, Sharon Bernstein, Michael Perry)
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