Tropical Storm Lee's residual fury caused a renewed round of flooding across the northeast on Thursday, as rising waters forced the evacuations of some 120,000 people and killed at least six.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency declared a state of emergency for Pennsylvania, where steady rainfall swelled the Susquehana River to record levels and caused the evacuations of over 100,000 people in the northeast part of the state. On early Friday, the river was three feet below the top of levees, according to the Associated Press. About 1,200 National Guardsmen have been deployed to the state, particularly to the hard-hit Wilkes-Barre region.
20,000 residents of the Binghampton, N.Y. area were ordered to evacuate as both the Susquehana and the swollen Chenango River continued to rise. The Susquehana was 11 feet above flood level around Binghampton as water surged over retaining walls and towards the downtown area on Thursday. On Friday morning officials said waters were beginning to recede but evacuation orders remained in place.
This is worse than anything I've seen, Theodore Champney, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Binghampton, told the New York Times. I've worked here over 20 years.
Ten different Northeast states are under flood watch, and major rivers including the Delaware and the Passaic could rise to record levels. As many as ten inches of rain have fallen in the Washington, D.C. region since Wednesday, shutting down parts of the Capitol Beltway. Residents of Northeast Maryland were ordered to evacuate as the Susquehana forced officials to open the massive Conowingo dam. People living near the nexus of the Susquehana and the Chesapeake bay also had to leave their homes.
Among the dead were an 8-year-old Pennsylvania boy who was swept into a storm drain and two people carried away by the pounding waters in the Virginia suburbs of Washington, D.C.