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Claudette regains tropical storm strength as it moves toward NC coast

Published: Jun. 20, 2021 at 9:36 PM EDT|Updated: Jun. 21, 2021 at 12:23 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Claudette strengthened back into a tropical storm early Monday morning as it approached the North Carolina coast.

But the storm’s threat to the Lowcountry is over, Meteorologist Joey Sovine said.

The storm was blamed for 13 deaths, including eight children in a multi-vehicle crash in Alabama on Saturday. The children who died Saturday were in a van for a youth home for abused or neglected children. The vehicle erupted in flames in the wreck along a wet Interstate 65 about 35 miles south of Montgomery. Butler County Coroner Wayne Garlock said vehicles likely hydroplaned.

As of 5 a.m. Monday, the National Hurricane Center said the storm was about 65 miles east-southeast of Raleigh and about 120 miles north of Cape Fear. Maximum sustained winds were holding at 40 mph as the stormed moved to the east-northeast at approximately 25 miles per hour.

A tropical storm warning that extended from Little River Inlet to Cape Fear was canceled.

Tropical storm warnings remained in effect for North Carolina from Cape Fear to Duck, and for Pamlico and Albemarle Sounds.

Some additional strengthening is possible over the western Atlantic Ocean Monday. Claudette is forecast to become a post-tropical cyclone Tuesday afternoon and dissipate late Tuesday night.

The city of Charleston released a list of downtown streets under a warning for potential closure because of possible flooding on Sunday, but as of Monday morning, none of the 13 streets actually closed as the track of Claudette moved to the north.

Copyright 2021 WCSC. The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved.