Heavy Rains in Florida's Panhandle as TD Claudette Heads North | NewsRadio WFLA

Tropical storm warnings for the Gulf Coast

Crash that killed 10 in Alabama being blamed on storm

As of Saturday evening, Claudette weakened from a tropical storm into a tropical depression, but continued to wreak havoc across parts of Alabama, Georgia, and the Florida panhandle.

Claudette is now forecast to trek across SC on Sunday, arriving in North Carolina on Sunday night.

In addition to the 10 people who died in the two-vehicle crash on Saturday, a tree fell on a house near the Tuscaloosa city limits - killing a 24-year-old man and a 3-year-old boy, Tuscaloosa Violent Crimes Unit's Capt. Marty Sellers told Tuscaloosa News.

Claudette, the third named storm of the year, is now a tropical depression and continues its path toward the southeast region of the United States with heavy rain and gusty winds on Saturday night, according to the National Hurricane Center.

Meanwhile, almost two dozen people were rescued by boat in Northport, Alabama, due to flooding, WVUA-TV reported. A tropical storm watch was issued South Santee River, South Carolina, to the Little River Inlet, forecasters said.

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On Saturday and Saturday night, the system's heavy rain also caused flooding in parts of central and northern Alabama, including around Tuscaloosa. A tropical storm swept across the southeastern USA on Saturday, causing flash flooding and spurring tornadoes that destroyed dozens of homes.

The system was located approximately 45 miles (75 km) west-northwest of Montgomery, Alabama, with wind speeds of 30 mph (45 kph).

In an advisory posted to Facebook, the NHC said Claudette was centered inland over southeast Louisiana about 30 miles north of New Orleans and moving toward the north to the northeast near 12 mph.

Shortly after landing, suspected tornadoes caused by a storm destroyed or severely damaged at least 50 homes in a small town in Alabama, just north of the Florida border.

Sheriff Heath Jackson in Escambia County said a suspected tornado "pretty much leveled" a mobile home park, toppled trees onto houses and ripped the roof off of a high school gym.

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Straight-line wind gusts reached 60 mph in parts of coastal MS, but the storm's most destructive element proved to be a tornado it spawned in Brewton, Ala., about 60 miles east-northeast of Mobile, near the Florida Panhandle.

Damage from the storm was also felt in north Florida, where winds - in some cases reaching 85 miles per hour - caused an 18-wheeler to flip on its side.

Bynum reported from Savannah, Georgia.

Separately, the tropical cyclone Dolores landed on the west coast of Mexico with forces close to a hurricane.

Claudette is expected to produce rainfall totals of five to ten inches and isolated areas of 15 inches across areas in the central Gulf Coast. Forecasters were warning of the potential for flash flooding and mudslides.

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