Nicole Brings Heavy Rain, Flooding to East Coast

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Remnants of Tropical Storm Nicole drenched the East Coast Thursday.

The storm carried heavy showers and thunderstorms and also spawned tornado warnings. Forecasters predicted some areas in the storm's path could see up to 14 inches of rain and flash flooding.

State of Emergency in N.C.
    
North Carolina's Gov. Beverly Perdue declared a state of emergency after Nicole merged with an existing storm to dump record amounts of rain on the Tarheel State. 

"We're very ready, as ready as anybody can be," Purdue said Thursday. "We feel comfortable this morning that we have in place the resources and the supplies and the capacity to do whatever it takes."
    
Carolina coastal regions have received 18 inches of rain -- four months worth of rainfall -- in as little as 100 hours.

"I've seen tons of wrecks around here," Corey Breece said. "This morning on my way to work I've seen a bad wreck where a guy looked like he had hydroplaned off the road and struck a telephone pole."
   
The rain has caught even the most seasoned motorists off guard.
 
"Normally, I would make my little swing around to this spot over here to deliver," postal carrier Clarence Williams said. "I just misjudged the pavement, you know."
   
In the tough economy, the weather has been making survival even tougher.

"It just hurts you - four days of sitting in the house doing nothing," landscaper James D'Anetra explained.

"We've had the water level come right up to the door," Georgetown, S.C. café owner Ron Rader said. "We went 21 days without any rain. Then we had 6 inches a few days ago."

Extending to New England
   
In Florida, portable pumps worked day and night to turn back the tide. Flood watches and warnings from the storm extended as far north as New England.
   
While the avalanche of water has been fun for some, for emergency workers on the East Coast, it has been all hands on deck.

"There's always somebody or someone who doesn't pay attention to what they're doing. They drive in (to standing water) the car stalls out. The next thing you know you've got a water rescue on your hands," said Bill Johnson, assistant fire chief of the Georgetown Fire Department.

Meanwhile, there's even more challenging weather ahead for coastal residents.

With forecasts for seven or more inches of rain, emergency planners from Wilmington, N.C., to the Virginia state line have shelters on stand by.

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