Downpours drench the South, closing streets and delaying flights

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This Tuesday, Aug. 8, 2017, photo shows a Delta Air Lines airplane on the tarmac at LaGuardia Airport in the Queens borough of New York. Delta Air Lines, Inc. reports earnings Thursday, April 12, 2018. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

(AP) — Several roads were closed for the Monday morning rush hour in downtown Charleston, South Carolina, as heavy rain soaked several southern states, forecasters said.

Charleston was flooding before dawn due to a combination of coastal flooding the effects of the heavy rains, the National Weather Service said.

Creeks and streams were on the rise there and across the South. Flood watches and warnings covered parts of Georgia, Alabama, Louisiana and South Carolina.

In Florida, the heavy rain and flooding delayed dozens of flights at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.

The airport had issued an advisory late Sunday that said more than 150 of its flights were experiencing weather delays and 11 flights had been canceled.

Areas around the airport were hit with about 6 inches (15 centimeters) of rain between midnight and early Monday morning, according to WPTV-TV. By 6:30 a.m. Monday, flight operations were resuming.

An “energetic and moisture-rich low pressure system” brought the torrential rains to the South, the weather service said. High winds also accompanied the system, littering some Georgia roads with fallen tree branches.

In Atlanta, a wind gust of 39 mph (63 kph) was recorded Sunday at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. No major delays were reported Monday at Atlanta’s airport. The strongest winds had diminished by sunrise Monday, but some strong gusts were still possible in the northeast Georgia mountains later in the day, forecasters said.

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