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Remnants of Hurricane Patricia dump heavy rains and cause flooding, blocked roads on coast


MOBILE, Alabama — Heavy rains caused flooding in southwest Alabama as remnants of Hurricane Patricia moved across the northern Gulf Coast on Monday, and forecasters said more rain was on the way.

Police warned drivers to stay off flooded roads south of Mobile, particularly around the parkway leading to Dauphin Island.

Flooding also was reported on the causeway linking Mobile and Spanish Fort across Mobile Bay and in southern Mobile County around Coden, a hub for boat building and seafood.

The National Weather Service said as much as 4 inches of rain already had fallen in the area, and another 2 inches was possible. Forecasters issued a flood watch for Alabama's two coastal counties and neighboring Pensacola, Florida.

Beach erosion could become a problem with winds gusting to as high as 40 mph and waves as large as 12 feet predicted through Tuesday. Sand blew across coastal roads and parking lots in tourist areas, and stiff winds whipped beachfront flags.

At Gulf State Park in Baldwin County, waves battering the fishing pier damaged flooring panels meant to blow out during high seas. The pier was closed at the time because of the big surf.

The Estuarium at Dauphin Island Sea Lab closed early because of road conditions, and after-school activities were canceled as far north as Huntsville in north Alabama because of heavy rains. Forecasters said wind gusts could reach 35 mph in central Alabama.

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