Rainfall connected to storms that wrought deadly tornadoes in the Midwest and South this week has tested the Gulf Coast, where some areas saw the most precipitation on record since the National Weather Service began tracking rainfall totals in 1880
Updated 12:45 p.m. ET
Record-setting rainfall pounded the East and Gulf Coasts of the United States on Tuesday and Wednesday, with even more rain looming for some parts of the Eastern Seaboard. Florida was hit particularly hard, and by Thursday afternoon, people in the Panhandle region were cleaning up as floodwaters receded.
The National Weather Service warned Wednesday of a “complex storm system” that will continue to rain down on the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast into Thursday.
In parts of the Gulf Coast, hurricane-tested residents faced unprecedented rainfall that flooded highways and washed away parts of homes. Florida Gov. Rick Scott declared a state of emergency and warned residents to expect more flooding.
The NWS said up to 18.9 inches of rain fell over a 24-hour period in Alabama and Florida, CNN reports. The airport in Pensacola, Florida recorded 15.55 inches of rain, the highest rainfall total in a single calendar day since the NWS began tracking rainfall totals in 1880.
The rainfall in the Gulf Coast was connected to a storm system that fueled tornadoes and severe storms across the south and midsection of the country earlier this week. Those violent storms were linked to the deaths of 36 people.
The bad weather spread east as nighttime fell on Wednesday. Washington, D.C.’s Reagan National Airport recorded 5.18 inches of rain on Wednesday, breaking a daily record, the Washington Post reports. New York City’s Central Park saw the 11th heaviest daily rainfall according to the New York Times. Flood warnings were in effect for New York City early Thursday morning.
There’s a chance of rainstorms Thursday in cities from Jacksonville, Fl. to Portland, Maine, Accuweather forecasts, while residents in the Southeast are in for even more trouble as more rain is expected Friday.