Coastal storm drenches the area

September 11, 2009 3:40:29 PM PDT
A powerful coastal storm brought blinding rain and high winds that felled trees on major roadways and rail lines, flooded low-lying areas, and made travel hazardous Friday morning along the U.S. east coast.

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Parts of New Jersey and Delaware remained under a tornado watch until midday, and wind gusts of 55 mph or more left thousands without power. More than four inches of rain had fallen by mid-morning.

In New Jersey, a main route leading into the beach resort of Wildwood was closed and school was canceled due to flooding. A tree that fell on train tracks halted rail service along the Jersey shore for part of the morning commute, and a similar incident delayed suburban Philadelphia commuters.

Northeast airports reported delays ranging from one to four hours.

Forecasters issued several weather advisories and warnings for much of the state as a storm system pelted Delaware with heavy rains and high winds.

A tornado watch that was issued statewide expired at noon Friday, but a coastal flood advisory remained in effect until early Friday evening. There were no reports of coastal flooding Friday morning.

A flash flood watch was in effect for New Castle County in northern Delaware, and the National Weather Service issued a flood warning for the Christina River at Cooch's Bridge.

Delmarva Power reported about 1,000 customers in New Castle County were without service Friday afternoon.

State monitoring stations showed 24-hour rainfall totals ranging from 2.8 inches in Dover and Georgetown to 3.4 inches at the Rehoboth Beach boardwalk

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