Tornadoes, Rain Churn Along East Coast

BOSTON, March 30 (UPI) — Tornados struck near Belmont, N.C., and in Florida’s Broward County and rainfall records fell from North Carolina to Massachusetts, weather officials said.

The North Carolina tornado damaged businesses and a mobile home community, WCNC-TV, Charlotte, N.C., reported. Weather officials said the tornado carried winds of about 90 mph.

More than 2 inches of rain fell along the eastern seaboard, with some areas reporting nearly 4 inches, reported, noting at least 12 daily rainfall records were broken.

More rain was expected Tuesday in already saturated southern New England, forecasters said. Rough surf was forecast along the Northeast coast.

Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick declared a state of emergency Monday for the second time in March, activating National Guard units to help the waterlogged state, The Boston Globe reported .

Patrick said all rivers in the state are in danger of flooding. The Charles and Sudbury rivers were above flood stage, and officials were watching the Blackstone in Northbridge, the Neponset in Norwood, the Assabet in Maynard and the Shawsheen in Wilmington.

Forecasters warned travelers along the Interstate 95 corridor from Philadelphia to Portland, Maine, to expect delays on the ground and in the air because of rainy conditions.

In North Carolina, residents of the mobile home community said the metal roofing from nearby Parkdale Mills punched a hole in the side of a mobile home. No injuries were reported.

NWS officials said the Florida tornado uprooted trees, wrecked fences and downed power lines, the South Florida Sun Sentinel in Fort Lauderdale reported. Weather officials said winds were about 80 mph.

No injuries were reported, the newspaper said. Thousands of Florida Power and Light customers were without power for several hours Monday.

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