Nor'easter sops East, floods homes
By ASSOCIATED PRESS
Published April 16, 2007
NEW YORK - A powerful nor'easter pounded the East with wind and pouring rain Sunday, grounding airlines and threatening to create some of the worst coastal flooding in 14 years.
The storm also flooded people out of their homes in the middle of the night in West Virginia. Other inland states faced a threat of heavy snow.
One person was killed as dozens of mobile homes were destroyed or damaged by wind in South Carolina. The storm system already had been blamed for five deaths on Friday in Kansas and Texas.
The Coast Guard had warned mariners to head for port because wind up to 55 mph was expected to generate seas up to 20 feet high, Petty Officer Etta Smith said Sunday in Boston.
Airlines canceled more than 400 flights at the New York area's three major airports, said Steve Coleman, a spokesman for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. More cancellations were expected.
Baseball games were rained out in New York, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Boston.
Heavy rain and thunderstorms extended from Florida up the coast to New England on Sunday. Wind gusted to 71 mph at Charleston, S.C., the weather service said.
Storm warnings and watches were posted all along the East Coast, with flood warnings extending from North Carolina to the New York area. Winter storm warnings were in effect for parts of New England and eastern New York state.
Meteorologists expected sustained wind of 40 mph and a storm surge of 3 to 5 feet, a combination that could cause as much coastal damage to New York's Long Island as a winter storm that wreaked havoc there in late 1992, Gov. Eliot Spitzer said.
The storm also caused flash flooding in the mountains of southern West Virginia, where emergency services personnel rescued nearly two dozen people from homes and cars in Logan and Boone counties early Sunday. Two people were unaccounted for.
"It's about as bad as it can get," said Logan, W.Va., fire Chief Scott Beckett. "This thing came down at 2 or 3 in the morning, when people were sleeping in their beds. They just didn't know what was happening."
Up to 2.5 inches of rain had fallen in southern West Virginia since early Saturday and streams were still rising Sunday, said weather service meteorologist Dan Bartholf in Charleston.
At least 3 inches of rain fell in eastern Kentucky, where a 50-foot section of highway collapsed near Pikeville, said State Police Sgt. Jamey Kidd. No vehicles were caught by the collapse, he said.
In central Florida, a tornado damaged mobile homes in Dundee but no injuries were reported, police said.
[Last modified April 16, 2007, 02:06:36]
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