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    Tropical Rain Renews Northeast Flood Threat

    October 19, 2011; 5:28 PM ET
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    While the Great Lakes will endure the worst of today's wild storm, the rain-weary Northeast has not escaped the risk of flash flooding.

    The heaviest and wind-driven rain will take aim at the Great Lakes, including Chicago, today into Thursday.

    However, a separate zone of steadier rain remains on a northward track along the Eastern Seaboard.

    In between these two bands of rain, severe thunderstorms will target the mid-Atlantic this afternoon and evening.

    The latter rain is associated with a low that originated from the depths of the tropics and was recently being monitored for tropical development in the Gulf of Mexico.

    While a tropical depression or named storm never took shape, the low is still drawing in a plethora of moisture that is being unleashed in the form of the soaking rain.

    The rain is spreading up the heavily-populated Interstate 95 corridor, bypassing the Susquehanna River Valley that was hardest-hit by Lee's flooding.

    A repeat of the excessive rain totals produced by Lee and Irene is not expected. Instead, amounts will generally range from 0.50 of an inch to 2 inches through Thursday morning.

    That is still enough to cause some urban and stream flooding, as well as major travel delays stated AccuWeather.com Expert Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski due to the saturated state of the ground.

    Flooding will ensue faster where fallen leaves clog drains.

    Coastal flooding is also a concern at the Northeast beaches today as gusty winds drive ocean water onshore. That threat will linger into tomorrow at the south- to southwest-facing beaches.

    Even where flooding does not occur, motorists could encounter reduced visibility due to downpours and a heightened risk of vehicles hydroplaning as water ponds on highways.

    There is an added danger for motorists this time of year as trees lose their leaves. "The combination of fallen leaves and rain can make secondary roads very slippery," added Sosnowski.

    The rain will move out of the Northeast by Thursday afternoon. Showers will linger across the interior and down the spine of the Appalachians through Saturday, while the Interstate 95 corridor welcomes an extended dry spell.

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