Claudette regains tropical storm status after 13 dead in Alabama – .

Claudette regains tropical storm status after 13 dead in Alabama – .

Claudette regained tropical storm status Monday morning as she approached the Carolinian coast less than two days after 13 people – including eight children – were killed in a multiple vehicle crash – due to the effects of the storm in Alabama .

The children who died on Saturday were in a van for a youth center for abused or neglected children. The vehicle caught fire in the wreckage along a wet 65 highway about 35 miles south of Montgomery. Butler County Coroner Wayne Garlock said the vehicles likely hydroplaned.

The accident also claimed the lives of two other people who were in a separate vehicle. Garlock identified them as Cody Fox, 29, and his 9-month-old daughter, Ariana; both from Marion County, Tennessee.

Part of the wreckage from a fatal crash involving multiple vehicles is loaded to be taken away in Butler County, Alabama on Sunday (Lawrence Specker / Press-Register / via AP)


Several people were also injured.

In addition, a 24-year-old man and a 3-year-old boy were also killed on Saturday when a tree fell on their home just outside the Tuscaloosa city limits, said Captain Jack Kennedy of the Tuscaloosa Violent Crime Unit. Makayla Ross, a 23-year-old woman from Fort Payne, died on Saturday after her car pulled off the road in a swollen creek, DeKalb County Deputy Coroner Chris Thacker told WHNT-TV.

A search was also underway for a man who allegedly fell into the water during a flash flood in Birmingham, WBRC-TV reported. The crews were using boats to search Pebble Creek.

As of Monday morning, Claudette had maximum sustained winds of 40 mph, the National Hurricane Center said in an advisory. The storm was located 30 miles south of Norfolk, Va., And was moving east-northeast at 28 mph, forecasters said.

The storm was expected to move into the Atlantic Ocean later in the morning and then move near or south of Nova Scotia on Tuesday.

A home owned by Larry and Sally Higgins was destroyed by heavy flooding Saturday night in Northport, Alabama (AP)

A tropical storm warning was in effect from Cape Fear, North Carolina, to the town of Duck on the Outer Banks.

“An isolated tornado is possible early this morning over parts of the Outer Banks,” said Brad Reinhart, National Hurricane Center specialist. “By the afternoon, we expect the system to be well offshore. “


About 1 to 2 inches of rain was expected for the Carolinas before Claudette left the sea, with isolated flash floods possible.

The van in Saturday’s crash was carrying children ages 4 to 17 who belonged to the Tallapoosa County Girls Ranch, a youth hostel operated by the Alabama Sheriffs Association.

Michael Smith, CEO of the youth ranch, said the van was returning to the ranch near Camp Hill, northeast of Montgomery, after a week at Gulf Shores beach. The ranch manager Candice Gulley was the lone survivor of the van – pulled from the flames by a passerby.

“Words cannot explain what I saw,” Smith said of the crash site, which he visited on Saturday. He had returned from Gulf Shores in a separate van and had not seen the accident when it occurred.

Gulley remained hospitalized in Montgomery on Sunday in serious but stable condition. Two of the dead in the van were Gulley’s children, aged 4 and 16. Four others were residents of the ranch and two were guests, Smith said.


Garlock, the coroner, said the location of the wreckage is “notorious” for hydroplaning, as the northbound freeway descends a hill to a small stream. Traffic on this stretch of I-65 is typically packed with vacationers driving to and from Gulf of Mexico beaches on summer weekends.

The National Transportation Safety Board tweeted that it was sending 10 investigators to the area on Sunday to investigate the crash.


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