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Elsa Floods New York And New England As Storm Elsa Moves Up The East Coast
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Elsa Floods New York And New England As Storm Elsa Moves Up The East Coast


NEW YORK (AP) — Elsa, a fast-moving storm, pounded New York City and New England on Friday with heavy rain and high winds, flooding streets, toppling trees, and disrupting rail service.

The storm's maximum sustained winds were 50 mph (85 kph) by late afternoon as it moved northeast from Boston toward Maine. The National Hurricane Center in the United States said Elsa was no longer a tropical storm but warned of heavy rain and gusty winds through Friday evening.

By the early afternoon, Elsa had brought about 3.5 inches (9 centimeters) of rain to areas of Massachusetts and Rhode Island, flooding streets and stranding cars. West of Boston, Framingham police said Route 9 at Route 126 was closed due to high water.

Stormy weather caused morning snarls on commuter rail lines throughout the New York City region, with minor delays on the Harlem Line north of the city and service suspended on the Long Island Rail Road's Oyster Bay Branch due to fallen trees.

The rain caused a small rock slide under the main railroad track in West Haven, Connecticut, forcing trains to switch to a secondary track for a few hours; West Haven was also among the coastal cities experiencing significant street flooding.

“We’re just waiting for the water to recede,” said Joe Soto, the city’s emergency management director, adding that the drainage system was simply overwhelmed.

The storm hit just one day after a deluge flooded some New York City streets and subway stations.

Despite video evidence of flooding in some stations on Thursday, interim New York City Transit President Sarah Feinberg said in an email that “we actually weathered the storm quite well.”

In some areas, up to 6 inches (15 centimeters) of rain was possible Friday, causing flash flooding.

The majority of the winds stayed offshore in New England, but the eastern tip of Maine was expecting gusts of 30 mph to 40 mph (48 kph to 64 kph), raising concerns about some localized power outages. Heavy rain, including a projected 5 inches (12 centimeters) along part of the Maine coast, was expected before the storm blew into the Bay of Fundy and Canada late Friday.

Power outages were reported in sporadic locations along Elsa's path on Friday.

On Wednesday, the system was blamed for one fatality in Florida, and Elsa was also responsible for a damaging tornado in Georgia.

A tornado struck a campground for active-duty service members and military retirees in coastal Camden County, Georgia, on Wednesday, injuring nine people, according to Kings Bay Naval Submarine Base spokesperson Chris Tucker. Eight of those injured had to be taken to hospitals.

The EF-2 tornado flipped over several RVs, tossing one of the overturned vehicles about 200 feet (61 meters) into a lake, according to a preliminary report issued early Thursday by the National Weather Service after its employees surveyed the damage.

Authorities in Jacksonville, Florida, said a tree fell and struck two cars on Wednesday, killing one person. The Naval Air Force Atlantic Office identified the victim as Aviation Ordnanceman Airman Deshawn Levon Johnson, 26, of Virginia, on Friday.

A Coast Guard Air Station Savannah crew rescued a family who became stranded on Otter Island on Wednesday after their boat drifted off the beach, according to a Coast Guard news release. The family was flown to a hospital in good health.

On Thursday afternoon, a tornado was spotted near Fairfield, North Carolina, according to the National Weather Service in Morehead City, North Carolina.

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A 78-mph (126-kph) wind gust was recorded in Ludlam Bay overnight, and a 71-mph (114-kph) gust was recorded in Beach Haven; both appeared to be “associated with nearby tornadoes,” according to the National Hurricane Center.

According to Brian McNoldy, a hurricane researcher at the University of Miami, Elsa is the first fifth-named storm on record.

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Hill contributed reporting from Albany, New York, with assistance from Associated Press writers David Sharp in Portland, Maine, Mark Pratt in Boston, and Pat Eaton-Robb in Storrs, Connecticut.

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