Authorities in northeastern Pennsylvania have called for a mandatory evacuation of more than 100,000 people in the vicinity of the Susquehanna River by 4 p.m. Thursday because remnants of Tropical Storm Lee are expected to flood the area.
The widespread flooding is being blamed for three deaths in Pennsylvania.
Tropical Storm Lee swept through the U.S. with heavy rainfall and has increased the water level in the Susquehanna River, which runs through the city, to more than 18 feet above normal in 24 hours, according to reports.
The river is projected to peak at 41 feet between 4 and 8 p.m. on Thursday, which is the same height as the levee system protecting riverfront communities including Wilkes-Barre and Kingston, Luzerne County Management Agency official Frank Lasiewicki told The Associated Press.
Wilkes-Barre Mayor Tom Leighton has said residents should prepare for an extended evacuation of 72 hours and advised them to take clothing, food and prescription medicine.
He also asked city businesses to close their doors by noon, The AP reported.
The National Weather Service has issued flash flood warning from Maryland to New York.
The evacuations come less than a week after Tropical Storm Lee dumped heavy rain, causing water havoc such as floods that have cut off major highways and caused some schools to open late or not at all.
Roads and highways were reported closed across the region.
In Philadelphia, flooding and a rock slide closed eastbound lanes of the Schuylkill Expressway, a major means of transportation into the city. It could take hours for the road to reopen, according to reports.
In New York, the Thruway Authority is expected to close a 105-mile stretch of Interstate 90 on Thursday where it runs along the Mohawk River, which had overflowed its banks in some areas. This is the state's most heavily traveled east-west highway.
New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo on Wednesday said the state's full response capacity have been deployed to Broome County where heavy rains from Tropical Storm Lee have caused increased flood levels.
About 125 National Guard troops with high axle clearance vehicles have been deployed to the area to help in rescues.
Emergency services and management, along with swift water boats and specially trained crews from the New York State Police and the State Department of Environmental Conservation have also been dispatched to the area.