Widespread flooding resulting from the remnants of Tropical Storm Lee is being blamed for three deaths in Pennsylvania, where thousands were ordered to evacuate, as flash flood warnings have been issued from Maryland to New York early on Thursday.
Police in Derry Township, Pa., told the media that an elderly man was killed on Wednesday when his house's foundation collapsed while he was trying to bail water out of his basement.
Additionally, Lancaster County Emergency Management Director Randy Gockley has said a motorist trapped in a vehicle drowned early Thursday morning in Elizabeth Township, Pa. He added that responders found between 3 and 4 feet of water on the roadway as the Hammer Creek spilled over its banks.
Gockley confirmed another death Thursday morning.
Derry Township Police Chief Patrick O'Rourke told The Associated Press that the body of a man in his 70s was recovered from the home after a friend reported that the man failed to meet him as planned.
We took a direct blow yesterday, O'Rourke said. You can't get from one side of the town to the other.
O'Rourke added that rescuers in his hard-hit community had to use boats to ferry trapped residents from their homes. One boat carrying seven residents from a flooded mobile home park capsized, forcing its occupants to hold on to trees until a second boat arrived and plucked them from the water, The AP reported.
Lee brought heavy rains of up to 7 inches to the area just a little more than a week after Hurricane Irene passed through the state and several others along the East Coast. The increasing amount of rainfalls sent numerous small waterways over their banks and is promising to bring some major flooding to low-lying and flood-prone areas on Thursday.
The National Weather Service has predicted that would continue falling heavily across the mid-Atlantic and Northeastern states through Thursday with anywhere from 4 to 7 more inches rain. The inches of rainfall could go up to about 10 in isolated pockets.
The Weather Service has also issued several flashflood warning on Thursday for parts of Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York.