UNITED STATES NEWS

Storm drenches Florida and South Carolina while heading up East Coast

Dec 17, 2023, 8:59 AM | Updated: 3:20 pm

GEORGETOWN, S.C. (AP) — A late-year storm unleashed heavy rain and gusty winds as it barreled up the East Coast on Sunday, forcing water rescues from flooded streets and the cancelation of some holiday celebrations.

Authorities rescued dozens of motorists stranded by floodwaters in South Carolina’s waterfront community of Georgetown, according to Jackie Broach, public information officer for Georgetown County, situated between Charleston and Myrtle Beach. More than 9 inches (22.9 centimeters) of rain fell in the area since late Saturday.

“It’s not just the areas that we normally see flooding, that are flood-prone,” Broach said. “It’s areas that we’re not really expecting to have flooding issues.”

Water rescues also took place on Kiawah and Seabrook islands, according to media outlets.

There were numerous road closures across South Carolina’s Lowcountry as the storm dumped heavy rain. The tide gauge at Charleston swelled to reach the city’s highest nontropical tide on record and the fourth-highest tide of all time, media outlets reported. Charleston was soaked by about 4 inches (10 centimeters) of rain that tapered off by afternoon. Dozens of roads were closed, while stranded cars littered streets.

“It’s like a tropical storm, it just happens to be in December,” Broach said in a phone interview.

There were no reports of injuries or deaths in Georgetown County, she said. Gusty winds were strong enough to topple some signs and trees. Outdoor holiday decorations were tossed about, she said.

Farther up the coast, minor to moderate coastal flooding was expected Sunday, according to the National Weather Service office in Wilmington, North Carolina.

There were more than 31,000 power outages in South Carolina, according to PowerOutage.us, along with over 14,000 in North Carolina and more than 11,000 in Florida.

The storm was forecast to gain strength as it tracked along the Georgia and Carolina coasts, producing heavy rain and gusty winds, the weather service said. Wind gusts of 35 mph to 45 mph (56 kph to 72 kph) could bring down trees, especially on saturated ground.

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul warned of a possible 2 to 4 inches (5.1 to 10.2 centimeters) of rain, powerful winds and potential flooding in parts of the state. Flood watches were in effect in many locations in New York City, and high wind warnings were activated around the city and Long Island.

“We will get through this storm, but preparation is the key,” New York Mayor Eric Adams said. City officials told residents to expect several hours of rain and possible delays during Monday morning’s commute.

The storm dumped up to 5 inches (12.7 centimeters) of rain across Florida, inundating streets and forcing the cancellation of boat parades and other holiday celebrations.

The National Weather Service issued flood warnings and minor flooding advisories for a wide swath of the state, from the southwest Gulf Coast to Jacksonville. Major airports remained open, however, at the start of the busy holiday travel season.

“Today is not the day to go swimming or boating!” Sheriff Carmine Marceno of Lee County, on Florida’s southwestern coast, said on X, formerly known as Twitter.

Coastal advisories were issued for much of Florida as strong winds churned waters in the Gulf and along the north Atlantic coast.

The storm could be good news for residents in southwest Florida who have been facing water restrictions and drought conditions heading into what normally is the region’s dry season.

The weather service also warned of 2 to 4 inches (5.1 to 10.2 centimeters) of rain in parts of Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware, with the heaviest expected late Sunday night, and possible urban and small stream flooding and at least minor flooding to some rivers through Monday.

Forecasters also warned of strong winds in coastal areas, gale-force winds offshore, and moderate coastal flooding along Delaware Bay and widespread minor coastal flooding elsewhere.

The weather service said there is a slight risk of excessive rainfall over parts of New England through Monday morning, with the potential for flash flooding. Northern New England is expected to get the heaviest rain Monday through Tuesday morning.

United States News

FILE - Deborah Moody, an administrative clerk at the Alaska Division of Elections office in Anchora...

Associated Press

Alaska election officials to recalculate signatures for ranked vote repeal measure after court order

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — A state court judge on Friday disqualified numerous booklets used to gather signatures for an initiative that aims to repeal Alaska’s ranked choice voting system and gave elections officials a deadline to determine if the measure still had sufficient signatures to qualify for the November ballot. The decision by Superior Court […]

3 hours ago

Associated Press

UN approves more transparent procedures for people and entities to get off its sanctions lists

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The United Nations Security Council unanimously approved more transparent procedures Friday for the hundreds of individuals, companies and other entities who are subject to U.N. sanctions and want to get off the blacklists. The resolution, co-sponsored by Malta and the United States, also authorizes the establishment of a new informal working […]

5 hours ago

FILE - Rep. Shelia Jackson Lee, D-Texas, speaks during a House Judiciary Committee meeting, Dec. 13...

Associated Press

Longtime US Rep Sheila Jackson Lee of Texas, who had pancreatic cancer, has died

Longtime U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee of Texas, who helped lead federal efforts to protect women from domestic violence and recognize Juneteenth as a national holiday, has died. She was 74. Lillie Conley, her chief of staff, confirmed Friday night that Jackson Lee, who had pancreatic cancer, had died. The Democrat had represented her Houston-based […]

5 hours ago

Stools line the bar at Elwood's Liquor and Tap on Thursday, July 18, 2024 in Milwaukee, Wis. This w...

Associated Press

Outside the RNC, small Milwaukee businesses and their regulars tried to salvage a sluggish week

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Jay Nelson was standing outside the convenience store he manages in downtown Milwaukee when one of his regular customers walked by on her daily stroll around the neighborhood. “I’ve been telling people to come and buy even just a bottle of wine,” she said, stretching out her arms. “I hope it helps.” […]

5 hours ago

Descendants of Nelson Bell, brothers Milford Fonza, front left, and Elmer Fonza, front right, surro...

Associated Press

In a California gold rush town, some Black families are fighting for land taken from their ancestors

COLOMA, Calif. (AP) — In a tiny town where the California gold rush began, Black families are seeking restitution for land that was taken from their ancestors to make way for a state park now frequented by fourth graders learning about the state’s history. Their efforts in Coloma, a town of around 300 people that’s […]

5 hours ago

Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich stands listening to the verdict in a glass cage of a ...

Associated Press

Russia convicts US journalist of spying in a trial widely seen as politically motivated

Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich was convicted Friday of espionage and sentenced to 16 years in a maximum-security prison on charges that his employer and the U.S. government have rejected as fabricated.

5 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Sanderson Ford

3 storylines to get you revved up for the 2024 Arizona Cardinals

Arizona Cardinals training camp is just a couple weeks away starting on July 25, and Sanderson Ford is revved up and ready to go.

...

Midwestern University

Midwestern University Clinic visits boost student training & community health

Going to a Midwestern University Clinic can help make you feel good in more ways than one.

...

Collins Comfort Masters

Here’s how to be worry-free when your A/C goes out in the middle of summer

PHOENIX -- As Arizona approaches another hot summer, Phoenix residents are likely to spend more time indoors.

Storm drenches Florida and South Carolina while heading up East Coast