Tropical storm Marco toppled trees and power lines as it swept Florida's Gulf Coast yesterday, and heavy rain streaming northward from the storm washed out roads and dams in the Carolinas.
The rain was blamed for at least five deaths in the Carolinas and may have caused a freight train derailment near Marshville, N.C. Nearly 10 inches of rain fell in 24 hours in parts of South Carolina, the National Weather Service said.
Schools were closed in Florida's Manatee and Sarasota counties, where wind gusts to 80 mph toppled power lines, knocking out electricity to 50,000 people.
Meanwhile, Bermuda felt the effects of Hurricane Lili with rain, thunderstorms and gusty wind. Forecasters said Lili, a relatively weak storm, was turning and could hit land in the Outer Banks of North Carolina late today.
The Northeast also could suffer severe weather if several weather systems converge, forecasters said.
"There's not only Marco, but Hurricane Lili, a cold front . . . all converging on the East Coast in the next few days," said Bob Sheets, director of the National Hurricane Center in Coral Gables, Fla.
He said Lili was racing west and "the question is how fast it's going to recurve and approach the East Coast, possibly as early as tomorrow night. All the weather conditions that these are creating can produce heavy rain over the East Coast, and that's of some concern."
At 10:30 p.m., forecasters said, Lili was about 620 miles southeast of Cape Hatteras, N.C., with sustained winds of 75 mph and moving west at about 23 mph. It was expected to slow and turn northwest.
In North Carolina, two highway deaths were blamed on heavy rain associated with Marco. In South Carolina, three people were found drowned and a boy was missing after a dam failed. Dams overflowed in Kershaw County, and two bridges were undermined in Kershaw and Chesterfield counties, the weather service reported.