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Thunderstorms to rage across much of US after 2 die in North Carolina

Patrick Moore / AP

A Las Vegas-bound tour bus lies on its side near Dolan Springs, Ariz., Sunday, after it was caught by floodwaters in a desert wash.

Thunderstorms were set to hit much of the country Monday, bringing more rain after two people - including a girl - drowned in a swollen river in North Carolina.

The National Weather Service warned late Sunday and early Monday that “hazardous weather” could hit from Florida to Maine and as far west as Colorado.

Delilah Lovett, 10, and Juan Alberdi, 48, died in Wilson’s Creek, N.C., late Saturday, NBC station WCNC.com reported Sunday.

Delilah, of Charlotte, had gone swimming in the river which was swollen by heavy rain. Alberdi’s wife said that he had drowned trying to save the girl after she got into difficulty.

And in Arizona, a tour bus carrying 33 people to Las Vegas after a trip to the Grand Canyon was swept away by floodwaters as the driver attempted to cross a wash near Kingman. No one was injured.

"It was a really strong storm dumping quite a bit of rain ... and it caused flash flooding," Chris Stumpf, a National Weather Service forecaster in Las Vegas, told The Associated Press. "They were driving on a portion of the road where they shouldn't have tried to drive across. They should not have been driving through there."

Rhonda Ho, operations manager for Canyon Coach Lines, said its driver Joseph Razon saw a car right in front of him go through a section of the highway covered by some water, and "he thought, if a car can go through it, I can go through it."

"Then he got slammed by a rushing current of water that came out of nowhere," she told the AP. "He was driving in almost neck-deep water and trying to control the bus while it was floating."  

She said Razon intentionally tilted the bus against an embankment so it would stop and passengers could escape through its roof.

Todd Sumlin / The Charlotte Observer via AP

Catawba County deputies survey a washed out section of road near Newton, N.C. following flooding Saturday.

This kind of weather will remain a problem.

Weather.com said that “thunderstorms will continue to affect large swaths of the country, and flash flooding will be a significant concern.”

“The best chance for a severe storm or two will be over portions of eastern Colorado and western Kansas,” it said.

“However, flash flooding will be a more widespread concern from southern Nevada east across the Four Corners region and into the Central Plains, including much of Kansas and western Missouri,” weather.com added. “Localized flash flooding will linger in parts of the I-95 Northeast corridor from Philadelphia to New York as well from heavy rainfall on Sunday.”

In Philadelphia, the National Weather Service recorded a record all-time daily rainfall of 7.99 inches at the Philadelphia International Airport. More than 7 inches fell during a 4-hour period, NBC10.com reported.

Weather.com said the Plains states could see localized rainfall of more than 3 inches. It said this could lead to flash floods, given that the ground was already wet. In the West, the rain and rugged terrain could create the potential for flash flood.

“While the West will see that flash flood threat diminish on Monday, it will continue – and perhaps even worsen – over parts of Kansas, Missouri, northern Oklahoma and northern Arkansas,” weather.com said.

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