On Wednesday, Tropical Depression Fred moved into the Northeastern U.S. and unleashed heavy rains. It also threatened to cause flash floods and mudslides in upstate New York. After downpours flooded North Carolina, dozens of people were rescued from their homes and bridges.
On Tuesday, unconfirmed tornadoes caused widespread damage in North Carolina and Georgia. Fred moved north from the coast, far inland than the areas normally affected by tropical storms. Florida authorities reported one death, saying that a driver had hydroplaned and flipped in a ditch near Panama City.
According to utility tracker poweroutage.us, 37,000 customers in North Carolina and West Virginia were without power on Wednesday. Multiple landslides closed Interstate 40 lanes temporarily in North Carolina after steady downpours caused waterways to rise and washed rocks, mud, and onto highways. Another highway was closed Tuesday.
Fred’s remnants made it into Pennsylvania Wednesday afternoon. Although the post-tropical storm no longer has a swirling center but was capable of producing tornadoes or other dangerous weather, it moved through Pennsylvania on Wednesday. Rich Otto, a National Weather Service meteorologist said that rainfall will range from 2-4 inches (5-10 cmimeters), with some spots of 6-12 inches (16 centimeters), over a large area from Pennsylvania to New England until Friday.
He stated that flooding and the widespread flood watches in place right now are probably the biggest threat.
Three rivers that had been flooded by rain in eastern Tennessee were shut down and schools closed. In a Facebook post late Tuesday, Crystal Ottinger, Cocke County Mayor, stated that “The areas surrounding the Pigeon and French Broad Rivers have become dangerous”. Four shelters were opened.
Due to heavy rains, schools in Lincoln County, West Virginia had to cancel classes Wednesday.
Governor Roy Cooper of North Carolina declared a state of emergency Wednesday. Roy Cooper declared a state emergency in North Carolina on Wednesday. He said that approximately 100 people were rescued from the floods in the state’s mountains. Lillian Govus, spokesperson for Buncombe County said that there were at least 70 rescue efforts. 911 call records showed 2,400 calls in 24 hours, which is more than twice the usual volume.
Taylor Jones, county’s emergency service director, stated that authorities also found at most 10 cars in flood roads. These cars were apparently abandoned by people who sought safety and had no choice but to abandon their vehicles. Candler was hit hard by flooding. There were impassible roads and two bridges that had been destroyed, preventing many people from fleeing their homes. There were no immediate reports of injuries or deaths.
A rescue team from the eastern half of the state carried out water rescues in the Canton region to the west. Rudolph Shackelford, New Hanover County Fire Rescue Chief, stated in a statement. The rescue team posted photos showing bright yellow vests and rescue workers launching rafts with outboard engines at the edges of yards that had been submerged in muddy water, up to the front doors for multiple homes. They helped evacuate many apartment buildings that were threatened by flooding.
Zeb Smathers, Canton Mayor, said that Tuesday’s inundation created a “major disaster area” within his town.
“What really surprised us was how quickly it rose, the enormous amount and intensity of that,” Smathers stated by phone.
Grace, a hurricane, unleashed torrential rains on Haiti’s earthquake-damaged Haiti. As Grace moved away from the Cayman islands, its sustained winds increased to 75 mph (120 km/h). It was expected to intensify before it landed on Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula. The Yucatan, from Cancun to Punta Herrero and Cozumel was under hurricane warning
Meanwhile, Tropical Storm Henri moved towards the U.S. Coast and forecasters stated that it is now expected to turn into a hurricane by the weekend. Its path is more likely to impact the northeastern U.S. States. Henri was located approximately 795 miles (1.280 kilometers) south of Nantucket (Massachusetts) on Wednesday. The hurricane center advised that the storm’s highest sustained winds would be at 65 mph (100 km/h). However, life-threatening ocean waves could hit East Coast beaches this week.