USA – Emergencies Declared After Floods in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania

Torrential rain and flooding have affected parts of eastern USA over the last few days prompting highwater rescues and evacuations.

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy declared a state of emergency in five counties on Tuesday, 14 August after some areas recorded more than a month’s worth of rain between 11 and 12 August.

Meanwhile heavy rain has caused flooding in parts of New York state and Pennsylvania, where people were rescued from flooded cars and homes.

New Jersey

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy declared a state of emergency in Bergen, Essex, Monmouth, Ocean and Passaic counties.

“There is no doubt that parts of our state have received nothing less than historic amounts of rain, and some communities received an entire month’s worth in just a few hours,” said Governor Murphy.

Flood damage in New Jersey. Photo: Governor’s Office New Jersey

The governor’s statement said that several communities received between five and eight inches of rain between 11 and 12 August, exceeding what should be the expected rainfall for the entire month.

As a result, numerous neighborhoods experienced significant localized flooding, driving residents from their homes and shuttering businesses. Municipalities along waterways are also dealing with cleanup of downed trees, mud, and other storm-related debris. The National Weather Service has indicated that more storms may hit New Jersey, further complicating cleanup in affected communities.

National Weather Service Mount Holly said that Brick Township had recorded 7.83 inches of rain to 13 August and Howell 5.56 inches.

Rainfall in New Jersey and Pennsylvania to 13 August 2018. Image: National Weather Service Mount Holly

New York

In New York, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo declared a State of Emergency was declared for Broome, Chemung, Chenango, Cortland, Delaware, Monroe, Onondaga, Ontario, Schulyer, Seneca, Steuben, Tioga, Wayne, Yates, and contiguous counties

Swiftwater rescue teams were called to the Lodi State Park area in Seneca County where they evacuated approximately 50 to 60 people from various flooded camps and homes. Governor Cuomo later visited Broome and Seneca counties where he said flash floods and heavy rain have damaged homes and property.

Flood damage in New York, 13 August 2018. Photo: Governor’s Office New York

Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf said in a statement of 14 August that 7 counties have declared disaster declarations – Susquehanna, Bradford, Wyoming, Sullivan, Columbia, Schuylkill, and Lackawanna.

Emergency and transport officials have visited affected areas. Flooding has buckled roads and damaged homes.

Many residences in Bradford County and a non-profit library were swept from their foundations by flood waters. The Pennsylvania Helicopter Aquatic Rescue Team (PA-HART) deployed to Bradford County and rescued individuals who had been swept from their homes. The helicopter team remains in the area for further search and rescue and additional teams have been deployed to Susquehanna County for water and water-based search and rescue.

Many of those affected were recovering from considerable flooding that washed out a number of communities only a few weeks ago.

Governor Wolf said “These rains arrived on the heels of heavy rain in late July, not giving areas in central and north central Pennsylvania time to fully recover.”

Wet Summer in the East

Much of the recent rainfall fell on ground already saturated after what has been a very wet summer for eastern areas.

NWS New York said via Social Media that “Since August 1, Central Park has had 5.77″ of rain! That is 3.79″ over the normal amount of rain for the first two weeks of August!”

Figures from NWS Eastern revealed that some locations had recorded almost double the amount of rainfall expected for this period.

USA rainfall totals summer 2018. Image: NWS Eastern

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