Monster Storm: 5 Dead After Heavy Rains Batter East Coast

Storm causes flooding, mudslides and traffic mess along the eastern seaboard.

October 01, 2010, 1:54 AM

Oct. 1, 2010— -- East Coast residents from North Carolina to Maine are bracing for more rain today as remnants of Tropical Storm Nicole, combined with tropical moisture and a cold front, moves through the region.

Forecasters predict heavy rain and strong wind gusts across the eastern seaboard. New York and Boston could receive from 1 to 3 inches of rain.

Winds gusts could top 50 miles per hour in the New England area.

High surf is predicted from Norfolk, Va. to Long Island with some waves reaching 15 to 20 feet.

Flood warnings and flood advisories are still in effect for the Northeast and New England areas. The state of New Jersey is currently under a flood warning.

The storm also left thousands without power early this morning.

Storm Claims 5 Lives

Storm-related accidents are being blamed for 5 deaths in North Carolina. A family's SUV hydroplaned off a rain-slicked road and killed all the passengers inside except for a 3-year-old child. In a separate incident, a man drowned when his truck plunged into a raging river.

"In downpours like this when you have pounding waters, it's just imperative to have tires that are safe - that was a large factor in this tragedy," said North Carolina State Highway Patrol Sgt. Kenneth Pitts.

Since Sunday, Wilmington has received 22-and-a-half inches of rain or one-third of its yearly rainfall total - breaking a record previously set 140 years ago.

"It usually takes 4 to 5 days for it to go down, but with this much rain? Who knows?" said Billy Fussell, a Wilmington resident.

Storm Causes Travel Mess

In Washington D.C., commuters were caught in a flash flood during rush hour.

"The water was coming in so fast, I thought I was dying," said commuter Bernice Clark.

The storm also left downed trees that sparked fires on power lines.

Two commuter buses collided and injured 26 people on board.

In Berwyn, Pa., winds knocked down trees and live power lines onto a moving school bus. Two passengers inside were transported to a hospital.

In Syracuse, N.Y., two and a half inches of rain flooded buildings and basements while a mudslide closed Route 11.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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