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8th-14thA weakened Tropical Storm Ida washed ashore at Dauphin Island Tuesday morning with top wind speeds of about 45 mph, causing flooding of some roads and scattered power outages. At 10:00 a.m., top sustained winds dropped to near 35 mph and it became a tropical depression. Ida was moving northeast about 9 mph and expected to turn eastward to follow the Florida Panhandle. Officials in Baldwin County, which includes the beach community of Gulf Shores, said there were no early reports of injuries or property damage. Our crews are out on the ground doing assessments now," said Paula Tillman, a spokeswoman for the Baldwin County emergency management agency. "We have a few roads that have some flooding, but the water's going back down pretty quickly. Our road crews pushed some sand off some roads. Other than that, so far so good." Most of Ida's heaviest rain fell north of the storm's center, which was over Mobile Bay at 8:30 a.m. ET. That was causing officials here to worry about flooding in the days ahead. "We may see our rivers come back up," Tillman said. "We're asking everybody to be vigilant and watch out." In Mobile, many residents were going about their business as usual. "No worse than a bad thunderstorm," said Earl Haynes, 34, pumping gas at a station near Interstate 65. Schools were closed in Mobile, Baldwin and Washington counties, and in Escambia and Santa Rosa counties in the Florida Panhandle. Ida's damage in Mississippi also appeared to be minimal. "Really, it looks like the storm has passed our Gulf Coast, and we've only seen reports of very minor damage and some flooding," said Jeff Rent, spokesman for the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency.

About 500 residents of Jackson County near the Alabama border lost power, but that had been restored by 9:30 a.m. ET. Seven people in Jackson County stayed overnight in a shelter because of flooding, he said.

"No main roads were shut down," Rent said. "It looks like damage was very minimal."

Wet and stormy weather persisted in the Mid-Atlantic states as the remnant low pressure system of Ida became positioned along the Carolina Coast on Wednesday. The system continued to pulled moisture from the Atlantic Ocean into the Mid-Atlantic states, producing persistent showers, areas of heavy rainfall, and thunderstorms through the afternoon. Prolonged and heavy rainfall caused areas of excessive runoff and flooding near small streams and creeks, as well as ponding in urban areas. Damaging onshore winds of 15 to 25 mph with gusts near 35 mph accompanied unsettled weather activity and ushered cooler conditions into the Mid-Atlantic. Meanwhile, the Southeast states began to see drier weather conditions as the system exited to the coast.

Relentless rain drenched much of the Atlantic seaboard Thursday, pelting communities from North Carolina northward with gusty winds and heavy rains, inundating streets and stranding drivers in hard-hit Virginia. The downpours were the continuing aftermath of late-season Tropical Storm Ida, which quickly weakened once it made landfall on the U.S. gulf coast Tuesday but still soaked a swath from Alabama to Georgia.

In Virginia, Gov. Timothy Kaine declared a state of emergency and officials urged people in some areas to stay home. Rain and resulting floods were predicted to continue at least through Friday, especially along the state's southeastern coast. Mari Rosadson, who works at the front desk of the Marriott Waterside in downtown Norfolk, said she and her friend encountered standing water during a commute that took twice as long as usual. "We made it through fine, thank God," she said. Virginia Department of Emergency Management spokesman Bob Spieldenner said his agency received reports of a few Hampton Roads  residents being rescued from their cars after getting stuck in high water. Such incidents were reported in Norfolk, where winds worsened high tides already 6 to 7 feet above normal. Flooding closed several area streets, bridges and a major tunnel. "Each high tide is going to be worse, because the water's going to keep building," Spieldenner said. In western Virginia, officials reported flooded streets and some people being pulled out of low-lying areas. The Roanoke River also was expected to flood Thursday. Dominion Power reported more than 25,000 customers without electricity Thursday in Virginia and North Carolina, with more than 16,000 of them in southeast Virginia. Most Hampton Roads schools and universities canceled classes, and many businesses closed for the day. The Norfolk Naval Station and all other area Navy installations, Langley Air Force Base and Fort Eustis trimmed operations down to essential personnel, officials at the bases said. Meanwhile, Coast Guard officials continued searching for three commercial fishermen whose boat sank in churning seas off the coast of New Jersey. There were no serious problems elsewhere in the state, though emergency management officials were bracing for tidal flooding along the shore. In North Carolina, where thousands of residents lost power at some point during the deluge, flood warnings were posted from the mountains to the coast, with trees down and some roads closed. Schools in several districts opened late. The Coast Guard on Wednesday plucked two people from a sailboat off the North Carolina coast, where seas had churned and winds gusted near 30 mph. Two other people remained with the boat as it was towed back to shore. The National Weather Service said Thursday morning that rainfall in some places on the coast was near 6 inches. In South Carolina, state health officials blamed the heavy rains for overwhelming sewage plants in the Columbia area, dumping some raw sewage into three rivers. In suburban Atlanta, streets and yards that border the Chattahoochee River filled with water as the river spilled over its banks from the rain. The area is still waterlogged from historic flooding in September, which swamped homes and businesses. In Delaware, power outages were reported and at least two inches of rain had fallen in parts of the state. Some low-lying areas already flooded, and wind gusts were as high as 55 mph.

The major weather story in the country continued to be a powerful low pressure system off the eastern seaboard that was associated with the remnants of Tropical Storm Ida. While it did not produce as much precipitation as it moved northeastward along the coast of New England, it did produced heavy wind in the area once again. This Nor\'easter storm continued to produce high surf in coastal locations. There were Flood Warnings posted in the Mid-Atlantic due to the effects of this storm.

A fairly active area of weather developed in the mid-section of the nation as a storm system progressed eastward toward the Mid-Mississippi Valley today. A strong energetic frontal boundary associated with this system interacted with moisture from the Gulf of Mexico to produce significant precipitation from areas of the Louisiana coast through the Ohio Valley, and across the Central Plains and the Mid-Mississippi Valley. The majority of this unsettling weather activity developed in the form of light to moderate rainfall with isolated thunderstorms. Persistent rainfall in these regions created local flood risks near streams and rivers. Bands of light to moderate snowfall joined the mix of active weather in eastern Kansas and Iowa. Prolonged periods of snowfall created slick roads, lowered visibilities, and other travel difficulties through the afternoon. A Winter Storm Warning remained in effect in areas of northeastern Kansas, while much of eastern Kansas and northwestern Missouri remained under a Winter Weather Advisory. Out West, low to mid-level clouds continued to spread into the Pacific Northwest today as the one of several dynamic disturbances approached the Pacific Northwest coast. Strong onshore winds ushered abundant moisture into the region, translating into areas of light to moderate rainfall and heavy precipitation in Olympics and north Cascades.

Heavy, wet snow is being blamed for power outages in southeast Nebraska.

Up to 6 inches of snow was being reported at several locations on Monday morning. Mark Becker of Nebraska Public Power District says nearly 1,700 customers have been without power since around 10:15 a.m. He says the area includes Pawnee City, Table Rock, Burchard and Humboldt. NPPD expects to find downed lines near a substation in the Humboldt area.

Norris Public Power District in Beatrice is reporting that about 1,500 customers lost power starting around 8 o'clock, mostly in southern Gage County. Spokesman Jeff Hanson of Omaha Public Power District says about 600 customers lost power after a problem occurred at a substation near Verdon in the southeast corner of the state.



Jim G. Munley, jr.

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