Forecasters warned Sunday of the potential for life-threatening flash flooding in parts of the southeast U.S. as Claudette moves through.
Claudette, the third named storm of 2021, made landfall as a Saturday morning in Louisiana as a tropical storm. It was lashing parts of Georgia and the Carolinas early Sunday.
It has been downgraded to a tropical depression, but it is expected to become a tropical storm once again late Sunday or early Monday as it travels across the Carolinas, forecasters said.
A tropical storm warning remained in effect in North Carolina Sunday from the Little River Inlet to the town of Duck on the Outer Banks.
Heavy rain and high water inundated metro areas in Birmingham and Tuscaloosa, Ala., Saturday into Sunday. Two tornadoes were confirmed in Alabama — one in East Brewton and another in Kirkland, according to the National Weather Service. Up to 20 injuries were reported, most of them minor, according to AccuWeather.
The Associated Press reported that Birmingham Fire and Rescue Service Capt. Bryan Harrell said they were searching for a man who was possibly swept away in floodwaters.
Damage was also reported in north Florida, where winds reached up to 85 mph and flipped a semi-truck, according to reports.
As of 7 a.m. Sunday, the tropical depression was 25 miles west of Atlanta and about 390 miles west-northwest of Cape Fear, N.C., with maximum sustained winds of 30 mph with higher gusts, according to the hurricane center. Systems must produce winds of 39 mph or more to gain tropical storm status.
The earliest-forming storm with the first letter of ‘C’ was Cristobal last year, which formed on May 30. The average formation of a storm with the first letter ‘C’ is August, according to AccuWeather.
Tropical Storm Ana formed northeast of Bermuda on May 22, and Tropical Storm Bill formed June 14 off the coast of North Carolina.
Tropical Storm Ana marked the seventh consecutive year of a named storm forming before the June 1 start of hurricane season.
Neither Ana nor Bill, which were both short-lived, threatened the United States.
After Claudette the next named storm to form would be Danny.