ATLANTA (AP) — Tropical Depression Claudette claimed 12 lives in Alabama as the storm swept across the southeastern U.S., causing flash flooding and spurring tornadoes that destroyed dozens of homes.
Ten people, including nine children, were killed Saturday in a two-vehicle crash, according to Butler County Coroner Wayne Garlock, who said the vehicles likely hydroplaned on wet roads. Butler County Sheriff Danny Bond said multiple 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 on their house Saturday just outside the Tuscaloosa city limits, Capt. Marty Sellers of the Tuscaloosa Violent Crimes Unit told The Tuscaloosa News. Sellers did not immediately identify the victims and a medical examiner could not be reached early Sunday.
The deaths occurred as drenching rains pelted much of northern Alabama and Georgia late Saturday. As much as 12 inches (30 centimeters) of rain was reported earlier from Claudette along the Mississippi Gulf Coast.
A tropical storm warning was in effect in North Carolina from the Little River Inlet to the town of Duck on the Outer Banks. A tropical storm watch was issued South Santee River, South Carolina, to the Little River Inlet, forecasters said.
Top winds remained near 30 mph (45 kph) National Hurricane Center forecasters predicted Claudette would strengthen back to tropical storm status Monday over eastern North Carolina as it went out to sea in the Atlantic Ocean.
Flash flood watches on Sunday were posted for northern Georgia, most of South Carolina, the North Carolina coast and parts of southeast Alabama and the Florida Panhandle.
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Bynum reported from Savannah, Georgia. Associated Press reporter Kelli Kennedy in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, contributed to this report.