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Weekly wrap-up: Flooding, fires ravage communities in US; Baby dies after lightning hits pregnant mom in Florida

By Katy Galimberti, AccuWeather staff writer
July 14, 2017, 7:20:48 AM EDT

Strong storms blasted parts of the midwestern United States this week, spawning tornadoes, large hail and flooding.

More than 8 inches of rain was reported in Clayton County, Iowa, on Wednesday. Floodwater washed out area roads as a result. A rock slide buried a road near Cassville, Wisconsin.

Hail as large as a chicken eggs was reported near Fergus Falls, Minnesota, on Tuesday night. Tornadoes were spotted in North Dakota and Iowa.

A baby died this week after a pregnant mother was struck by lightning while walking outside in Florida during a storm in late June.

The mother was struck while carrying the child and gave birth shortly after being struck. The baby died this week. According to NBC2, the mother went into cardiac arrest but is now recovering out of the hospital.

Fires continue to char parts of the western U.S. as extreme heat and dry conditions have gripped the region. So far in 2017, wildfires have burned through 3.7 million acres of land across the U.S., which is larger than the entire state of Connecticut.

california alamo fire

The Santa Barbara County Fire department battles the Alamo Fire near Santa Maria, Calif., on Wednesday, July 12. (Facebook photo/Santa Barbara County Fire Department)

The Whittier Fire near Santa Barbara, California, has destroyed at least 20 structures and forced mandatory evacuations. The Wall Fire in Northern California has destroyed or damaged at least 100 structures.

Hundreds of tourists around Sicily, Italy, were evacuated this week as raging wildfires spread across the region.

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Approximately 10 people sought medical care at the hospital for smoke inhalation, but none of their conditions were serious.

Several months of above-normal temperatures and scarce rainfall have resulted in ideal conditions for wildfire development and growth across Italy.

Monsoon rains in India have put people and numerous animals in danger. Intense rainfall over the past several weeks in northeastern India have killed more than 80 people, according to Reuters.

india monsoon ap july 2017

Commuters wade through a water logged street after heavy rains in Jammu, India, Wednesday, July 12, 2017. (AP Photo/Channi Anand)

Flooding has forced animals to flee to higher ground; however, not all were able to find safety. Three rhinos and more than a dozen deer were found dead within the last week.

A massive iceberg the size of Delaware completely separated from the Larsen C Ice Shelf in Antarctica, researchers announced on Wednesday.

"The iceberg is one of the largest recorded, and its future progress is difficult to predict. It may remain in one piece but is more likely to break into fragments," Adrian Luckman, a professor with Swansea University, said.

Hopeful photographers and onlookers were left disappointed after cloudy skies blocked views of Manhattenhenge this week. Twice a year, the sun sets perfectly in line with the New York City grid. However, clouds blocked prime views.

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