Forecasters have warned of life-threatening flash floods in parts of the Deep South, particularly throughout central Alabama, when Tropical Depression Claudette traveled over coastal states on Sunday.
Ten people, including nine children, were killed Saturday in a two-vehicle crash, according to Butler County coroner Wayne Garlock, who said the vehicles were probably seaplanes on wet roads. Butler County Sheriff Danny Bond said several people were also injured. The victims were not immediately identified.
Meanwhile, a 24-year-old man and a 3-year-old boy were killed when a tree fell Saturday just outside the city limits of Tuscaloosa, Capt. Marty Sellers of the Violent Crimes Unit told The Tuscaloosa News Tuscaloosa. Vendors did not immediately identify the victims and a forensic doctor was unable to arrive on the first Sunday.
Deaths occurred when heavy rains flooded much of northern Alabama and Georgia late Saturday. As much as 12 inches (30 centimeters) of rain were first reported by Claudette along the Mississippi Gulf Coast.
A tropical storm warning was in effect in North Carolina from Little River Inlet to the town of Duck on the Outer Banks. A tropical storm watch has been issued from South Santee River, South Carolina, to Little River Inlet, forecasts say.
Strong winds were close to 30 mph (45m / h). Forecasts from the National Hurricane Center predicted that Claudette would return to tropical storm status in eastern North Carolina while sailing in the Atlantic Ocean.
Sunday flash floods were reported for northern Georgia, most of South Carolina, the North Carolina coast and parts of the southeastern Alabama and Florida Panhandle.
Here are the Key Messages Sunday 11 AM EDT for #Claudette. The system still produces heavy rains with possible flash floods in much of the southeastern United States A few tornadoes are also possible today in parts of Georgia and the Carolinas. https://t.co/tW4KeFW0gB pic.twitter.com/qwMv7aKL5T
– National Hurricane Center (@NHC_Atlantic) June 20, 2021
More than 20 people have been rescued by boat due to flooding in Northport, Alabama, WVUA-TV said. The Tuscaloosa County Emergency Management Agency tweeted that local Red Cross volunteers were on hand to help those affected. A shelter has been opened in Northport.
Village Creek in Birmingham rose above the flood stage to 13 meters (4 meters), the Birmingham National Meteorological Service tweeted.
The system was located about 25 miles (35 miles) west of Atlanta. Advancing east-northeast at 13 mph (20 km / h), the National Hurricane Center said in a warning Sunday morning.
Claudette was said to be fairly organized to qualify as a tropical storm called early Saturday morning, long after the storm’s circulation center reached land southwest of New Orleans.
Shortly after landfall, a tornado-stricken suspect demolished or severely damaged at least 50 homes in a small town in Alabama, just north of the Florida border.
Sheriff Heath Jackson in Exchange County said a returning suspect “practically leveled” a mobile home park, felled trees on houses and ripped off the roof of a high school gym. Most of the damage was done in or near the towns of Brewton and East Brewton, about 48 miles (77 miles) north of Pensacola, Florida.
“It has affected everyone,” Jackson said. “But with those mobile homes being built so close together, it can take a toll on them a lot more than it can do for shared homes.”
Tornadoes have also been reported in southwest Georgia.
Damage from the storm was also felt in North Florida, where winds – in some cases reaching 85 mph (137 km / h) – caused an 18-wheel truck to turn from its side.
The storm also flashed flood rains north of Lake Pontchartrain in Louisiana and along the Mississippi coast, flooding roads and, in some areas, pushing water into homes. Subsequently, the storm was flooded by the Florida Panhandle and, well inland, a large stretch of Alabama.
Forecasters said the system could also discharge 2 to 4 inches (5 to 10 centimeters) of rain into the region, with isolated accumulations of 8 inches (20 centimeters) possible.
Separately, tropical storm Dolores landed on the west coast of Mexico with an almost hurricane force. On Sunday, he had disappeared over Mexico. His remains had a sustained maximum wind speed of 25 mph (35 km / h), and were centered about 275 kilometers east of Mazatlan, Mexico.
Heavy rainfall of up to 15 inches (38 centimeters) was forecast for the southwestern and western coastal areas of Mexico over the weekend. Forecasts have warned of the potential for flash floods and mudslides.