Storm tracker: At least 35 missing after Fred sweeps North Carolina; Hurricane Grace forms as Henri eyes New England

Grace strengthened to a hurricane Wednesday on its way toward Mexico, where it could make landfall and soak the Yucatan Peninsula with up to a foot of rain early Thursday.

It’s the second hurricane of the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season.

With 80 mph winds, Grace brought heavy rainfall and gusty winds to the Cayman Islands on Wednesday, forecasters said, and the storm drenched earthquake-stricken Haiti this week.

Grace is one of three active Atlantic storms in a busy August for hurricane season. The remnants of Post-Tropical Cyclone Fred were still bringing rain across the eastern USA on Wednesday, with Gov. Roy Cooper declaring a state of emergency in North Carolina, and Tropical Storm Henri is expected to become a hurricane Friday as it spins out in the Atlantic.

Fred, which made landfall in Florida as a tropical storm, brought several possible tornadoes to Georgia and North Carolina, and the storm was blamed for at least one death Monday: A Las Vegas man whose car hydroplaned near Panama City, Florida, and overturned into a water-filled ditch, the Florida Highway Patrol said.

In North Carolina, at least 35 people are still missing, Haywood County Emergency Services Director Travis Donaldson said during a Wednesday news conference.

“We have homes that are completely destroyed and off their foundations,” Haywood County Sheriff Greg Christopher added. “Mobile homes that were moved, and mobile home parks that I would call completely destroyed.”

On its current path, what’s left of Fred was expected to move from central Pennsylvania to the southern tier of New York, then New England as the system transitioned into a non-tropical low.

Grace batters Haiti days after quake:’Countless Haitian families have lost everything’

Henri could pick up to hurricane strength by Friday, and changes in its forecast track place southern New England in its possible path, though there remains plenty of uncertainty as to where it will go, according to the National Hurricane Center.

Tornadoes and flooding in Fred’s path across US
Although it’s slowly losing steam as it treks across the eastern USA, the remnants of Fred caused twisters and prompted flash flood warnings in several states.

According to the National Weather Service, as many as 14 possible tornadoes were reported across Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina on Tuesday as Fred passed.

In Georgia, the tornadoes damaged homes, an apartment complex and a sporting goods warehouse, which ripped off metal siding and knocked around a semitruck trailer in Jeffersonville.

Flooding in parts of North Carolina forced some people to evacuate. In Grovemont, east of Asheville, residents were told to shelter in place instead as roads had become impassible.

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