CAPE FEAR, North Carolina — After pummeling communities along the Gulf Coast and inland, the storm known as Claudette strengthened to become a tropical storm again Monday as it deluged coastal North Carolina before heading out to sea.
The system had maximum sustained winds of 40 mph Monday, less than two days after moving through Alabama, where it was blamed for 14 deaths. A highway crash killed eight children who were riding in a van for a youth home for abused or neglected kids. The wreck also claimed the lives of a Tennessee man and his infant daughter. Separately, a tree fell on a home killing an adult and a toddler, and a woman whose car ran off the road into a swollen creek died in north Alabama.
After moving into the Atlantic Ocean, the storm was expected to travel near or south of Nova Scotia, Canada by Tuesday.
The National Hurricane Center, citing the forecast track, said the storm is "forecast to become a post-tropical cyclone Tuesday afternoon and dissipate late Tuesday night."
The Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea are near the beginning of the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season, which runs from June 1 to November 30.
Researchers have predicted an above-average 2021 Atlantic hurricane season.