East and West Coast Storms – Flooding in Tri-State Area, Flood Warnings for Northern California

The anticipated a nor’easter along the Atlantic coast of the USA dumped heavy rain of over 70 mm (2.75 inches) in some places on Tuesday 09 December 2014. Some news reports claim that the heavy rain combined with high tides has caused some of the worst flooding in coastal areas since Hurricane Sandy.

Meanwhile another storm is brewing on the Pacific coast and areas around the San Francisco Bay and parts of norther California are bracing themselves for what, according to some local media, could be the “storm of the decade”.

USA faces East and West Coast Storms. Image: NWS
USA faces East and West Coast Storms. Image: NWS

East Coast Tri State Area

Flooding has been reported in several parts of the Tri-State area. The National Weather Service issued a flood watch yesterday for New York City, parts of Long Island, Westchester, Orange, Rockland and Putnam counties as well as for parts of Connecticut and New Jersey.

The New York City Office of Emergency Management issued a travel advisory for Tuesday through Wednesday and has its flash flood plan in anticipation of the storm.

The strong rain and high tides caused some flooding along coastal areas, including Long Island, New York, where the Fire Island ferry was suspended due to floods. Some areas of Fire Island were under about 2 feet (60 cm) of water after the rain combined with the high tide.

In New Jersey flooding was reported in parts of Monmouth County, Ocean City, West Wildwood and southern Long Beach Island.

WMO Rainfall Figures for 24 hours between 09 and 10 December 2014

Providence, Rhode Island. – 70 mm
Atlantic City, New Jersey -. 55 mm
La Guardia, New York – 67 mm
Bridgeport Connecticut – 54 mm
John F. Kennedy Airport, New York – 77.3 mm

Increased Coastal Flooding

The current coastal flooding could well be in line with predictions made in various scientific reports earlier this year. In October 2014, a report from the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) predicted increasing floods from high tides along the country’s Atlantic and Gulf coasts. A report in April 2014 stated that New York coastal flooding was 20 times greater today than it was last century.

Pacific Coast Storm – Northern California

Meanwhile on America’s West Coast, flood warnings have been issued for Wednesday and Thursday for the San Francisco Bay area, Humboldt County and Mendocino Count, California.

NWS say rainfall amounts are expected to range from 3 to 5 inches for North Bay valleys, 2 to 3 inches for most urban areas for the San Francisco peninsula and Monterey bay region, and up to 8 inches for the coastal ranges.

Levels of rivers in northern California are also f some concern. NWS have issued a flood watch for Russian, Eel, Van Duzen and Navarro rivers.

This is the second time in the space of a week that drought stricken California has faced flood warnings.