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Tropical Storm Claudette batters Southeast US: Latest forecast

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ABC News
ABC News

Tropical Storm Claudette is wreaking havoc across the Southeastern United States, bringing pounding rain, floods and tornadoes.

Claudette came ashore Saturday morning before 7 a.m. CST, according to the National Hurricane Center with inundating rain and tropical storm-force winds.

The storm brought heavy winds and severe weather from Louisiana to the Florida Panhandle.

Claudette is the third-named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season. The storm is waning as it moves farther inland moving NNE at 14mph centered about 80 miles NNW of Mobile, Alabama.
@BeachNavarre/Twitter - PHOTO: In this screen grab taken from a video posted to the Twitter account for Navarre Beach, Tropical Storm Claudette hits Navarre Beach in Florida, June 19, 2021.

Claudette is hanging on as a minimal tropical storm with sustained winds of 40 mph.

Multiple reported tornadoes were reported over the last 12 hours near Pensacola, Florida, near Mobile and Brewton, Alabama, and Clay County Georiga, the worst of the damage so far reported in Brewton.

More than half a foot of rain is falling is parts of southeast Louisiana with up to 10 inches reported in Slidell, where police deployed 40 to 50 high-water rescue vehicles due to widespread flooding. In some areas, rainfall rates topped two inches per hour.

MORE: Floodwater safety tips

Fierce winds are also blowing through the Southeast, including several wind gusts topping 50 mph along the northern Gulf Coast from Grand Isle, Louisiana, to the Florida Panhandle since early Saturday. Several gusts topping 60mph were reported.
WEAR - PHOTO: In this screen grab taken from a video, tornado damage is shown on a house in Alabama after Tropical Storm Claudette came through, June 19, 2021.
Gerald Herbert/AP - PHOTO: A flooded neighborhood is seen after Tropical Storm Claudette passed through in Slidell, La., June 19, 2021.

The National Hurricane Center warned of flash, urban and small stream flooding throughout the weekend along the central Gulf Coast.

As of Saturday afternoon, there are no alerts in effect for New Orleans and southeastern Louisiana. A tropical storm warning remains in effect for the Mississippi-Alabama state line and the Okaloosa and Walton County line in the Florida panhandle.

Flash flood warnings are in effect from southeastern Mississippi to Georgia and a tornado watch is in effect for parts of the Florida panhandle into southeastern Alabama and southwestern Georgia.

Claudette is forecast to weaken into a tropical depression soon and is projected to continue to sweep across the Southeast into Sunday.
ABC News - PHOTO: Tropical Storm Claudette is forecast to weaken to a tropical depression.

On Sunday, the storm will impact the Carolinas. Claudette is expected to push off the North Carolina coast Monday morning and head out to sea.

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards has issued a state of emergency. The governor warned that after severe flooding last month, river levels are still high and drainage ditches are still full. Louisiana was especially hard-hit last hurricane season.

MORE: Heat wave safety: What to know about heat stroke vs. heat exhaustion

Meanwhile, unprecedented record heat is still scorching the western half of the country from the Plains to California.
Gerald Herbert/AP - PHOTO: Danny Gonzales, walks in his flooded house as water recedes, after Tropical Storm Claudette passed through, in Slidell, La., June 19, 2021.

Palm Springs tied its all-time high temperature of 123 degrees on Thursday.

Omaha hit 105 degrees -- the first time the city reached that temperature in June since 1953.

MORE: How to conserve energy during a heat wave

Heat alerts remain in effect for roughly 30 million in the West as of Saturday, including Phoenix, Arizona; Las Vegas, Nevada; and Sacramento, California. The heat in the West may finally subside Sunday into Monday.

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