Eta races off to sea from Carolinas after soaking Florida

The former Tropical Storm Eta was classified as a post-tropical cyclone early Friday, racing off the Southeast Atlantic coast and bringing heavy rains and gusty winds to the Carolinas after blustering across north Florida.

One death in Florida was linked to the storm, along with some scattered flooding, and forecasters said the system was on a path offshore of South Carolina that is expected to take it further out to sea.

Early Friday, the storm was centered about 85 miles southeast of Wilmington, North Carolina. It had top sustained winds of 45 mph and was moving to the east-northeast at 21 mph. The National Hurricane Center in Miami said Eta — which was now an extra-tropical low — was expected to pick up forward speed in the next day or so as it pulls away from the Southeast seaboard.

The storm system triggered flash flooding, multiple water rescues and road closures, and at least one collapsed bridge in South Carolina, said Sandy LaCourte, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Greenville, South Carolina.

Some parts of the Carolinas saw three to seven inches (7.5 to 17 centimeters) of rainfall already by Thursday afternoon with more expected. That came amid

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