Tropical Storm Fay causing flooding, bearing down on mid-Atlantic, New England

Fay is the earliest 6th-named storm on record

Tropical Storm Fay, expected to come closer to making landfall Friday, has already caused some flooding along the mid-Atlantic coast and southern New England.

Tropical storm warnings and flash flood watches were in effect for the Tri-State coastal area, FOX 5 in New York reported--and the worst of the rain in the area is expected Friday afternoon into Saturday morning.

The storm was slightly stronger early Friday as it headed north just offshore of the Delmarva Peninsula at 8 mph with top sustained winds of 45 mph, the National Hurricane Center reported.

TROPICAL SYSTEM LIKELY TO BRING HEAVY RAIN, WIND ALONG EAST COAST; SEVERE WEATHER IMPACTS MIDWEST

On Friday, New Jersey has seen flooding in parts of southern New Jersey, with the National Weather Service issuing a flash flood warning throughout Friday morning for Cape May County. Footage of flooded streets appeared on social media, noting that flooding was caused by rain, not rising tides.

Fay was expected to bring 2 to 4 inches of rain, threatening flash flooding in the mid-Atlantic and southern New England, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said. That's down from earlier forecasts of about 3 to 5 inches of rain.

Nine people were rescued from the Atlantic Ocean off Long Beach on Long Island Thursday evening, according to ABC News. Four were taken to local hospitals; the death of one person in critical care was announced Friday morning. The other five refused care.

While flooding was expected locally, as well as gusts up to 50 mph, it is not clear if the drownings were related to the growing storm.

A tropical storm warning remains in effect from Cape May, N.J., to Watch Hill, R.I.

Fay is the earliest sixth-named storm on record, according to Colorado State University hurricane researcher Phil Klotzbach. The previous record was Franklin on July 22, 2005, Klotzbach tweeted.

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Two named storms formed before the official June 1 start of the hurricane season. None of this season’s previous five named storms strengthened into hurricanes.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.