Tropical storm Claudette floods parts of Gulf Coast

  • Tropical storm Claudette floods parts of Gulf Coast

Tropical storm Claudette floods parts of Gulf Coast

Northern Georgia, a large portion of SC, the North Carolina coast, parts of southeast Alabama, and the Florida Panhandle all have flash flood watches for Sunday, the Associated Press reported.

Tropical Storm Claudette formed early Saturday morning and was tracked moving along the Gulf Coast before it made landfall.

Claudette, the third named storm of the year, is now a tropical depression and continues its path toward the southeast region of the United States with heavy rain and gusty winds on Saturday night, according to the National Hurricane Center.

More than 20 people were rescued by boat in the floods in Northport, Alabama, according to WVUA-TV reports. The cloudet was predicted to migrate to the Atlantic Ocean on Monday and regain the strength of tropical cyclones in the open ocean on Tuesday. A tropical storm swept across the southeastern US on Saturday, causing flash flooding and spurring tornadoes that destroyed dozens of homes.

"A turn toward the east-northeast is expected tonight and Sunday", NHC forecaster Jack Beven said.

Meanwhile, a tornado struck two mobile home communities in the Escambia County town of Brewton, Alabama, which is roughly 60 miles north of Florida.

Claudette is about 95 miles (150 km) west of Montgomery Alabama, with maximum sustained winds of 35 miles per hour (55 km/h), the NHC added.

Sheriff Heath Jackson estimated that at least 50 homes had been "pretty much" demolished by the storm, which also toppled trees onto houses and ripped the roof off a nearby school gym. Most of the damage was done in or near the towns of Brewton and East Brewton, about 48 miles (77 kilometers) north of Pensacola, Florida. "But with those mobile homes being built so close together it can take a toll on them a lot more than it can on houses that are spread apart".

The storm also rained floods north of Lake Pontchartrain, Louisiana, and along the MS coast, flooding the streets and, in some areas, pushing water into homes.

Tornadoes were also reported in southwest Georgia.

"The storm total rainfall is expected to be 5 to 10 inches with isolated 15 inches totals in southeast Louisiana, southern MS, southern Alabama, and the western Florida panhandle", NHC forecaster John Cangialosi said.

"The combination of storm surge and the tide will cause normally dry areas near the coast to be flooded by rising waters moving inland from the shoreline", the Hurricane Center writes.

Flooding had already begun on Friday night, with local media reporting high water over roads, stranded vehicles and water rescues; flood warnings and watches were in effect in addition to a widespread tropical storm warning.

Heavy rainfall of 6 to 10 inches (about 15 to 25 centimeters) was expected throughout the weekend in the southwestern and western coastal areas of Mexico.