Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Hurricane and Rainstorm Are Locked in a Dangerous Dance

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Hurricane and Rainstorm Are Locked in a Dangerous Dance

Article excerpt

SPARTANBURG, S.C. * Drenching rains along an already-saturated East Coast caused major flooding Thursday, drowning a woman whose car quickly filled up with water and prompting flash-flood warnings from historic Charleston to Washington, D.C.

An early morning downpour dumped 4 inches of rain on Spartanburg, S.C., in a short time, causing floods that submerged several cars.

To the northeast, one person died and another was injured in a crash near Fayetteville, N.C., when a tree fell across an interstate highway and hit two cars.

Residents across the region were bracing for several more days of rain and a possible strike by Hurricane Joaquin a major Category 4 storm set to wallop the Bahamas and move toward the U.S.

Joaquin could intensify damage around the region, but more rain is forecast regardless of the storm's path.

Joaquin strengthened over the Bahamas into a powerful Category 4 storm with 130 mph winds Thursday, and computer models over the past two days have switched back and forth, sometimes showing it blowing ashore along the East Coast, sometimes showing it peeling out to sea.

The latest National Hurricane Center forecast on Thursday had Joaquin veering a bit away from the Southeast coast and heading toward Long Island, N.Y. However, meteorologists were starting to look more favorably on an out-to-sea scenario.

It's a messy picture, no matter what happens.

As a result, meteorologists are emphasizing that people shouldn't focus solely on the hurricane. Streets and homes can still get walloped with rain and flooding associated with the hurricane even if it is 1,000 miles away. And because Joaquin is funneling tropical moisture into storm No. 1 and can keep doing so from afar even an out-to-sea Joaquin can worsen flooding.

In South Carolina, Sylvia Arteaga, 56, was driving home after a night shift at Bridgewater Candle Co. …

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