Tropical Storm Claudette brings rain, floods to Gulf Coast

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Tropical Storm Claudette is dumping heavy rain in the Florida panhandle and much of Alabama on a forecast track that will bring it to the East Coast by Monday. The storm had sustained winds of 40 mph and was centered about 75 miles north-northeast of New Orleans Saturday morning. But the accompanying rain and thunderstorms were far to the east. And the National Hurricane Center issued a tropical storm watch for parts of the North Carolina coast, saying tropical storm conditions could affect the area by Sunday night or Monday. Meanwhile wind damage from possible tornadoes has been reported in Pace, Florida, and in Escambia County, Alabama.