Tropical Storm Eta moved out into the Atlantic Ocean Thursday after it dumped torrents of rain on the Southeast leaving one person dead in Florida and combining with a cold front to cause deadly flooding in North Carolina.
The storm swept across northern Florida on Thursday from the Gulf Coast to the Atlantic. As of Thursday afternoon, the center of the storm was about 45 miles south-southeast of Savannah, Georgia.
The Carolinas were seeing heavy rain, though some of it was the result of moisture from Eta hitting a cold front, making rainfall amounts worse, forecasters said.
Eta’s center made its second Florida landfall – and fourth overall – on Thursday morning, just south of Cedar Key, roughly a 130-mile drive northwest of Tampa, at 4 a.m. with winds of 50 mph.
About 2 to 6 inches of rain fell over central and northern Florida on Wednesday and into Thursday morning. Officials in areas including St. Petersburg, Sarasota and Madeira Beach have responded to reports of roofs torn off and flooded streets over the past couple of days.
While it was over the Gulf of Mexico on Wednesday, Eta whipped western Florida with tropical storm-force winds and heavy rain.
In Bradenton Beach just northwest of Sarasota, a man is dead after being electrocuted in standing water inside his home Wednesday evening, emergency management officials said.
Eta’s heavy rain had caused flooding in the area, Manatee County emergency medical services chief James Crutchfield said.
Five deaths from flooding in North Carolina
Flooding in North Carolina caused by Eta and another storm system has led to the deaths of five people, authorities said.
Crews recovered three bodies at Hiddenite Family Campground in Alexander County, about 50 miles northwest of Charlotte. Rescuers continue to search for one adult and one child.
Another person died in a car accident due to a bridge outage in the Vashti community, according to county officials.
At least 31 people were evacuated from floodwaters.
Up to 10 inches of rain has fallen recently, county officials said. The rain is associated with a cold front but Eta made the rain even heavier.
Officials in Rolesville, just north of Raleigh, said a child playing near a swollen creek drowned in the water.
Four landfalls since last week
Eta made landfall three times before. It first crossed into Central America last week as a Category 4 hurricane, leaving scores of people dead or missing.
Then it made landfall in Cuba on Sunday and in Florida’s Lower Matecumbe Key later that day.
The 2020 Atlantic hurricane season has been especially active. It has set the record for most named storms in a single season with 29 so far.
CNN’s Jason Hanna, Rebekah Riess and Taylor Ward contributed to this report.