1 Dead, Dozens Rescued After Flooding in US Northeast, More Intense Rainfall Forecast

1 Dead, Dozens Rescued After Flooding in US Northeast, More Intense Rainfall Forecast
Onlookers check out a flooded road in Chester, Vermont, on July 10, 2023. (Scott Eisen/Getty Images)
Katabella Roberts
7/11/2023
Updated:
7/11/2023
0:00

At least one person has been killed and millions are under flood watches as parts of the northeastern United States were hit with severe rain and heavy flooding over the weekend.

More than 13 million Americans were under flood watches and warnings from eastern New York state to Boston and western Maine to the northeast, the National Weather Service (NWS) said in its forecast Monday, with Vermont the most at risk.

Flood watches will also remain in place until at least Tuesday afternoon for parts of Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey, and Connecticut, according to NWS.

Over the weekend, New York and Vermont were the hardest-hit states, receiving around 8 inches (20 cm) of rain which overwhelmed rivers and streams, although authorities in Pennsylvania also reported around 40 people being displaced, CBS News Philadelphia reported.

In parts of Vermont, which is currently under a state of emergency, flooding surpassed what was experienced during Tropical Storm Irene, according to Gov. Phil Scott. As of Monday morning, more than 10 people had been rescued from the floods, according to the governor.

Later on Monday, Vermont’s Emergency Management team said it had rescued 19 people on boats and evacuated 25 others, as well as pets, amid rising water levels.

Two areas in the state—Weston and South Londonderry—are currently inaccessible owing to flooding, officials said, while dozens of roads throughout the state have been closed over the dangerous conditions.

A severely damaged road is closed near Bear Mountain State Park following a night of heavy rain and flooding in Highland Falls, New York, on July 10, 2023. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
A severely damaged road is closed near Bear Mountain State Park following a night of heavy rain and flooding in Highland Falls, New York, on July 10, 2023. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Woman Swept Away in New York

So far, no injuries or deaths related to the flooding in Vermont have been reported, according to state emergency officials.

President Joe Biden, who is currently visiting Vilnius, Lithuania, approved Vermont’s emergency declaration early Tuesday morning, according to a statement from the White House.

In New York, a 43-year-old woman identified by police as Pamela Nugent was killed while trying to escape flooding at her home in Orange County—about 65 miles north of New York City—according to authorities.

Ms. Nugent was attempting to leave her home with her dog when she was swept away by rapid waters, officials said.

“We discovered her remains, she was in the bottom of a ravine,” Orange County Executive Steven Neuhaus told ABC7 New York. “It was very dangerous for the first responders that had to get her out of there,” he continued. “We saw the debris falling on them as they tried to get her onto high land where we could get her back to the Medical Examiner’s Office.”

Gov. Kathy Hochul declared a state of emergency in Orange County on July 9 after the area experienced “life-threatening conditions” owing to the heavy rainfall and flash flooding.

That state of emergency was expanded on Sunday to Ontario owing to “increasingly dangerous conditions,” according to Ms. Hochul’s office.

The New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services’ Office of Emergency Management and Office of Fire Prevention and Control have deployed personnel to the county to help assist with local response efforts, the governor’s office said.

More Rainfall Ahead

Elsewhere on Monday, more than 1,000 flights to and from airports across the region, including New York’s LaGuardia and Boston’s Logan, were delayed or canceled owing to heavy rains.

Railroad company Amtrak also suspended its passenger train service between the state capital Albany and New York City after flooding damaged tracks.

NWS late Monday said the slow-moving storm system will likely head northeastward overnight Monday before exiting the region on Tuesday.

“Before then, however, additional slow-moving showers capable of containing intense rainfall rates are expected to dump a few additional inches of rainfall over parts of northern Vermont and far northeast New York,” NWS said.

“As a result, dangerous flooding in these areas are forecast to continue or worsen throughout the night, with impacts turning from flash flooding to main-stem river flooding,” the weather service said. “A High Risk (level 4/4) of Excessive Rainfall remains in effect for much of Vermont, highlighting the potential for catastrophic flooding that has not been seen in this part of the country since 2011. It is imperative to never drive across flooded roadways, as most flood-related deaths occur within vehicles.”

According to a preliminary evaluation by AccuWeather, the weekend flooding caused damages and economic loss of around $3 billion to $5 billion, although the full extent of the damages is yet to be assessed by officials.

Reuters contributed to this report.
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