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Flooding from Hurricane Danny has caused at least $22.5 million in claims from policyholders in several Southern states, according to the Federal Insurance Administration.

The majority of the 1,500 claims came from coastal Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi, where Danny washed ashore last week and dumped 25 to 30 inches of rain July 18-19.

Jim Shortley, director of claims for the FIA in Washington, said last week that more claims could come from the Gulf states and North Carolina. The FIA administers the National Flood Insurance Program.

Early last week, Danny left up to 20 inches of rain on Georgia before heading to the Carolinas, said Josh McDowell, an oceanographer at the National Hurricane Center in Miami.

On Wednesday, the storm caused at least one death in North Carolina as it washed out roads in and around Charlotte. A 59-year-old motorist drowned after flood waters trapped her car.

Swollen rivers and creeks in North Carolina last week caused a train to derail. In Charlotte last Wednesday night, a CSX Corp. freight train with 90 cars of coal skipped its tracks as it crossed a stone culvert weakened by a flooded creek.

The locomotive then slid down a river bank and into the creek.

CSX is self-insured for the loss, according to a CSX spokeswoman based in Jacksonville, Fla.

The Alabama Emergency Management Agency estimated Danny's winds and rains caused $6.3 million in damage to roads, bridges and public buildings.

By the end of last week, the state agency had not released a damage estimate for private property.

Close to 650 Mobile-area businesses were damaged, and 200 homes were destroyed or severely damaged, an agency spokesman said.

On Thursday, Alabama Gov. Fob James asked President Clinton to declare three counties a federal disaster area.

The American Insurance Services Group's Property Claims Services division in Rahway, N.J., will release damage estimates this week for Hurricane Danny and the storm that ripped through the Upper Midwest and Detroit earlier this month, said Jim Welch, senior claims consultant.

He added that damages from the Midwest storm (BI, July 14) would be greater than those from last week's hurricane.