Tropical Storm Claudette is seen over the Carolinas early Monday. Photo courtesy NOAA/NHC
June 21 (UPI) -- Claudette again reached tropical storm strength early Monday and dumped heavy rains over North Carolina, after killing more than a dozen people in Alabama over the weekend.
Claudette arrived on the U.S. mainland over the weekend from the Gulf of Mexico and was blamed for several deaths. It weakened as it moved northeast over land, but again regained tropical storm strength as it hovered over the East Coast on Monday, the National Hurricane Center said.
"Claudette is moving toward the east-northeast near 25 mph," the NHC said in its 5 a.m. EDT advisory. "An east-northeastward to northeastward motion with some increase in forward speed is expected over its the next couple of days."
The storm is expected to reach the Atlantic Ocean later Monday and move just south of Nova Scotia in Canada on Tuesday.
Claudette dumped as many as 8 inches of rain on parts of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama on Friday and Saturday. Forecasters called for as many as 4 inches in Georgia and North and South Carolina.
A tornado related to the storm was reported in southern Alabama and Florida over the weekend, downing trees, snapping power lines and spreading debris across the region.
In Escambia County, Fla., officials said a tornado injured three people and authorities closed U.S. Highway 29 in East Brewton, Ala., due to power lines on the roadway.
Claudette is expected to create storm surge of up to 3 feet near the North Carolina-Virginia border and up to 2 feet from Cape Lookout, N.C., to Little River Inlet, S.C.
Claudette is the third named system of the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season, after Ana and Bill. The hurricane season began June 1.