Heavy rains wash across U.S. Northeast, catastrophic flooding possible


(Reuters) – Torrential downpours were expected to drench the U.S. Northeast on Monday, potentially causing catastrophic flooding across the region where rains have already washed out roadways and overwhelmed rivers and streams.

Some 13 million Americans were under flood watches and warnings issued for Eastern New York southeast into Boston and up through into Western Maine, where as much as seven inches (17.78 cm) of rain was expected to fall, the National Weather Service said in its forecast.

“Widespread, heavy rainfall capable of producing considerable to catastrophic flooding is beginning to unfold, Road washouts are ongoing, and are expected to increase in extent and severity over the course of the day,” the weather service said.

The weather has claimed the life of a woman in Orange County, New York, who was swept away by flood waters as she attempted to leave her home with her dog on Sunday, local media reported.

Video footage and photos posted on social media showed washed out roadways and raging floodwaters reaching houses on Sunday and early Monday morning throughout the region where heavy rains over the weekend inundated rivers and streams.

Life threatening flash flooding was possible for most of Vermont on Monday as forecasters said as much as one inch of rain an hour was expected to fall at times throughout the morning.

New York Governor Kathy Hochul has issued states of emergency in at least two counties as she urged residents to watch the weather forecast closely throughout the day.

Hundreds of flights in and out of airports across the region, including New York’s LaGuardia and Boston’s Logan, were delayed or canceled due to the rains since Sunday. Amtrak suspended service on Monday morning between Albany and New York due to the rain.

(Reporting by Brendan O’Brien in Chicago, editing by Ed Osmond)

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