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After pummeling Florida, a strengthening storm system is drenching the Atlantic coast

Local resident Wayne Cox and friend Irma Parrilla, visiting from Orlando, brave gusty winds and drizzling rain to visit Matheson Hammock Park in Coral Gables, Fla., on Friday.
Rebecca Blackwell
/
AP
Local resident Wayne Cox and friend Irma Parrilla, visiting from Orlando, brave gusty winds and drizzling rain to visit Matheson Hammock Park in Coral Gables, Fla., on Friday.

Updated December 17, 2023 at 8:46 PM ET

After wreaking havoc in Florida, a strong storm system is producing widespread flooding, gusty winds and the possibility of tornadoes as it makes its way up the Atlantic coast.

Excessive downpours will remain a threat until Monday morning for most parts of the Mid-Atlantic and until Tuesday for New England. The storm will continue to move north and enter eastern Canada on Monday night.

On wide swaths of the South Carolina coast, 6 to 8 inches of rain fell within the 24 hours to 6 p.m. ET Sunday. Georgetown, S.C., and nearby areas received 12 or more inches of rain, the National Weather Service's office in Wilmington, N.C., said.

The Wilmington NWS office also reported some flooding in southern North Carolina and along the South Carolina coast.

Tornado damage was reported in South Carolina's Socastee and Forestbrook areas, the NWS said, with "power poles snapped, trees down on homes, and structural damage."

More than 14,000 customers were without power on Sunday evening in North Carolina, according to Poweroutage.us.

A flood warning will be in effectnear the Sante Fe River in northern Florida from Monday night to Wednesday night. The NWS warned that flooding may affect roads in Columbia county in north central Florida.

On Saturday, the storm dumped up to three inches of rain in the greater Tampa Bay region, NPR member station WUSF reported.

Brendan Schaper, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Melbourne, Fla., said Saturday's showers broke the daily rainfall records in all seven of central Florida's tracking sessions. At Orlando International Airport, 2.33 inches of rainfall accumulated, more than double the record in 1912 of 1.08 inches. Meanwhile, in Leesburg, Saturday's rainfall broke a record for the entire month of December, Schaper added.

The severe weather also once again postponed undocking from the International Space Station of SpaceX's Dragon, which is packedwith over 3,500 pounds of "science and hardware" and awaiting to be analyzed back on Earth.

The cargo ship was originally scheduled to leave on Thursday but its departure was repeatedly delayed this past week due to the harsh weather conditions off the coast of Florida where it will splash down.

The spacecraft is expected to undock on Tuesday "no earlier than 5:05 p.m. EST," NASA announced.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Juliana Kim
Juliana Kim is a weekend reporter for Digital News, where she adds context to the news of the day and brings her enterprise skills to NPR's signature journalism.

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