The governor of the southeastern U.S. state of Florida, Charlie Crist, says officials have confirmed six deaths related to Tropical Storm Fay, as the weather system continues to pound the state with torrential rain.
Crist told a news conference Friday, that the deaths in Florida were caused by traffic accidents and drownings, as well as one from carbon monoxide poisoning. He urged residents in affected areas to try to stay safe and avoid leaving their homes.
Fay came ashore Thursday on the Florida coast for a third time this week, bringing more of the heavy rain that has flooded hundreds of homes and prompted numerous evacuations.
The storm began moving west across mainland Florida, after stalling along the the state's northeast Atlantic coast for hours.
President George Bush has declared an emergency for the waterlogged state, authorizing federal authorities to coordinate disaster relief efforts.
Residents in flooded areas have been warned to be on the lookout for alligators and snakes, which have been forced out of their habitats by the storm.
The National Hurricane Center in Miami says Fay is expected to move near or over the coast of the western Florida panhandle later Friday and Saturday. It warns that isolated tornadoes are possible over parts of Florida and the nearby states of Georgia and South Carolina.
Some information for this report was provided by AP.