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Child missing in flood found dead; Danny brings rain to coast

July 25, 1997

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) _ The storm made of Hurricane Danny’s remains sloshed off the coast of North Carolina and headed north, dumping rain along the East Coast as it edged alongside Cape Cod today.

A little girl missing since Danny-related flooding earlier this week in Charlotte was found dead today, bringing the storm’s toll to at least nine.

Before leaving land, Danny crossed the track of last year’s Hurricane Fran just south of Raleigh just in time for the Thursday morning rush hour.

``All I could hear was thundering and trees falling,″ said Linda Cheatham of Garner, just south of Raleigh, standing a few feet from her husband’s blue Oldsmobile. Its side and back windows were broken out by a tree that fell in the storm.

``I’m still in shock,″ she said. ``It scared me.″

Danny, which regained tropical storm strenghth when it moved out over the waters of the Atlantic, was not expected to make landfall again before reaching Nova Scotia. But a tropical storm warning was posted from Woods Hole, to Plymouth, Mass., including Cape Cod, Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard.

At 11 a.m., the storm was centered 70 miles south of Nantucket Island with winds of 60 mph.

Danny was an unusual storm, continuing to bring heavy weather days after it moved inland and then moving out over open waters for a second time and regaining strength.

The slow-moving Danny formed in the Gulf of Mexico and first hit land July 17 in Louisiana. It caused widespread flooding as it crossed into southern Mississippi and Alabama. Rainfall totals topped 30 inches in some areas _ as much rainfall in a few days as the area normally gets in months _ and damage in Alabama alone was put in the tens of millions of dollars.

No longer a tropical storm, it brought heavy rains to Georgia and the Carolinas beginning Wednesday.

The storm dumped more than 13 inches in Charlotte over two days, drenched Raleigh-Durham in 4 inches of rain and produced wind gusts of up to 60 mph Thursday. Creeks swelled and about 173,000 people were without power at the height of the storm and thousands had to evacuate their homes.

A Charlotte girl who was swept away by floodwaters Wednesday was found dead early today. The body of Ariel Linton, who was playing in a creek during the storm, was spotted on a creek bank about 10 a.m., city fire officials said.

One other person died in North Carolina, a woman whose car was flipped by floodwaters on a downtown Charlotte street. A South Carolina woman died when wind tore apart her apartment building; four traffic deaths in Georgia were blamed on the storm, and at least two deaths were reported earlier in Alabama.

Meanwhile, CSX railroad officials said it will take a couple of days to remove a locomotive that splashed into Little Sugar Creek when floodwaters washed away a bridge. The three-member crew got out before the trestle collapsed.

Wayne Broome, director of emergency management services for Mecklenburg County, estimated that storm damage in Charlotte was ``well over several million dollars.″

About 10 inches of rain fell in Locust, a town of 2,000 people in Stanly County, causing street floods and a leak in a private dam in a mobile home park, City Administrator Carolyn Lisenby said.

The Little River at Fort Bragg was expected to crest near the flood stage of 11 feet today, and some minor road flooding was possible.

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