The City of Binghamton, N.Y., has ordered the evacuation of more than 10,000 people threatened by imminent flooding of the Susquehanna and Chenango Rivers.
Flash flood warnings were issued from Maryland to New York Thursday as the East Coast, still soaked from Hurricane Irene, faces more heavy rain from Tropical Storm Lee.
The Broome County Web site has given detailed information of the areas that are likely to be affected by flooding from the rivers. It has also urged residents who are able to drive to go to a safe location.
Please remain calm and drive in a safe and orderly fashion, the notice posted on the Web site said. Anyone who is unable to evacuate or is facing a life-threatening emergency should dial 911.
Buses are arranged to pick up evacuees who will be sent to Broome County Airport. The notice also asked people to bring medications.
At a press conference on Wednesday night, Broome County Director of Emergency Services, Brett Chellis, said We have to be prepared for the worst. Binghamton is starting to evacuate now.
People need to be ready to move, said Chellis.
The rivers Susquehanna and Chenango are expected to peak at around 9 a.m. in most areas, bringing waterways to the same levels as those in 2006.
It's very similar to 2006, Broome County Executive Patrick Brennan said.
The National Weather Service on Thursday issued flash flood warnings in parts of Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and New York.
Flooding will continue to worsen overnight as the rain continues. Rainfall totals for Wednesday through early Thursday morning will range from 5 to 12 inches across much of the warning area by 6 a.m., the National Weather Service warning said.
Travel will be hazardous through the early morning hours and is not advised except for emergencies, it added.