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Floods threaten South and East as extremely dense fog affects millions across US

ABC News

(NEW YORK) — Communities in the southern and eastern United States are grappling with dangerous floods from heavy rainfall, while dense fog envelops a swath of the country.

Major flash flooding on Wednesday affected areas from Louisiana to Mississippi, where localized rainfall totals ranged from 5 to 9 inches. Over the past few days, heavy rain also hit parts of eastern Texas, just north of Houston, where more than 8 inches fell.

On Thursday, the worst of the flooding is expected to be from Louisiana to western North Carolina and northern Georgia, where some areas could get in excess of 5 inches of rain with flash floods in the forecast. The major cities that could be impacted include New Orleans, Louisiana; Jackson, Mississippi; Mobile, Alabama; Birmingham, Alabama; Montgomery, Alabama; Atlanta, Georgia; Knoxville, Tennessee; and Asheville, North Carolina.

The heavy rain is forecast to move north where there is still snow in the Midwest to the Northeast. A flood watch has been issued for the rain that will fall on top of the snowmelt and ice jams.

As of early Thursday, 15 states from Texas to Rhode Island are under flood alerts.

The East is expected to get waves of rain through the weekend.

Meanwhile, millions of Americans are waking up to extreme fog in at least 25 states from New Mexico to New York on Thursday morning. There are already reports of visibility being near zero in cities such as New Orleans, Louisiana; Little Rock, Arkansas; and Chicago, Illinois.

There are also reports of low visibility in major cities on the East Coast, including New York, New York; and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Some areas will see this dense fog through most of the day.

Temperatures are forecast to stay mild for the East Coast this week, with the warmest air along the Interstate 95 travel corridor.

On Thursday, temperatures are expected to be near 60 degrees Fahrenheit in Washington, D.C.; in the 50s in New York, New York; and near 50 in Boston, Massachusetts. The mild air is forecast to linger over the next few days, with near 50 degrees for New York, New York; 60s for Washington, D.C.; 70s for Atlanta, Georgia; and summer-like 80s for Orlando, Florida.

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