Dramatic Flooding in Eastern USA after Unprecedented Rainfall

A slow moving storm over eastern states left areas from Maryland to New England facing unprecedented rainfall and flooding. Some media reports claim parts of New York state saw an entire summer’s worth of rain fall in 12 hours.

Over 13 inches of rain fell in just over 9 hours in some parts of Long Island, New York on Wednesday 13 August 2014. A local official described it as an “unprecedented deluge”. A state of emergency has been declared in Suffolk County and the towns of Islip and Brookhaven.

The storm is moving northwards and heavy rainfall has since hit parts of New England and Canada.

Flooded Highways

In a similar story to Michigan two days ago, the flash flooding yesterday caused most disruption on major roads. One person died in a traffic accident on Long Island Expressway as a result of the severe weather. Social media and news sites were full of dramatic images of cars in flood water up to the roof.

  • Over 50 vehicles were stranded in flood water on the Southern State Parkway in North Babylon, New York
  • Parts of the Montauk Highway on Long Island’s South Shore were severely damage and buckled under the pressure of flood water
  • Several cars were completely slumbered in flood water on the I-95 in Branford, Connecticut
  • The Baltimore Harbor Tunnel and Interstate 895 underneath the Patapsco River, was completely flooded and closed until late afternoon, Tuesday 12 August.

Rainfall Levels

According to WMO, rainfall levels for the period 24 hours – 13 to 14 August 2014 were:

  • Islip, Long Island, New York – 330 mm / 13.26 inches
  • JFK Airport, NY – 83 mm / 3.2 inches
  • Portland, Maine – 163.3 mm / 6.4 inches

The rainfall in Islip is the highest ever amount of rain in 24 hours for anywhere in New York state.

24 hours – 12 to 13 August 2014

  • Atlantic City, New Jersey – 141.5 mm / 5.5 inches
  • Baltimore, MD – 159. 8mm / 6.2 inches

Severe Weather and Floods Across USA

It’s not just the eastern states currently seeing severe weather. Michigan was hit by similar record rainfall on Monday 11 August and is just beginning to recover. Storms in the north have also caused flash floods in Nebraska and Washington over the lest few days.

Michigan

On Monday 11 August 2014, parts of Michigan saw the highest daily rainfall amount in nearly 90 years. The ensuing floods caused chaos for the state’s highways, particularly around the Detroit metro area. See our original report here. Huge stretches of freeways around Detroit were closed for most of Tuesday and several hours Wednesday. A section of the I-75 still remained closed at the time of writing. ONe person was killed in the floods, an elderly woman who died in her basement after it was inundated with flood water.

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder issued a disaster declaration for the Detroit area on Wednesday 13 August.

Nebraska

Heavy rains have also hit northern states, causing flash floods in Nebraska. Over the weekend a hospital in Nebraska was dramatically flooded (see video below). There were no injuries, but there was significant damage to the hospital which could remain closed for some time.

Washington

Several houses were inundated with flood water thigh high after heavy rainfall early Wednesday13 August 2014. A storm dumped around 2 inches / 50 mm of rain fell in a two-hour period, pushing levels of the Kelsey Creek to overflow into nearby homes. The storm also caused damage elsewhere, leaving 4,000 homes without power.

Arizona

3.55 inches (90 mm) of rain fell in 24 hours between 13 and 14 August in the Phoenix area, Arizona. Several houses suffered flood damage in the Phoenix metro area, in particular the south Mountains.