Heavy rainfall and flash floodsin parts of the northeastern United States over the weekend. Multiple people have been killed in flash flooding that hit the Pennsylvania suburbs Saturday night, just six days after a woman died trying to evacuate her home in upstate New York amid massive flooding that swept through the region and parts of devastated Vermont.
Five people were killed on a flooded road in eastern Pennsylvania Saturday night when the area saw between six and seven inches of rain in less than an hour, officials said at a news conference Sunday afternoon.
The victims included two adult women and an adult man, all of whom authorities found outside their cars in an area where the water level was about five feet above the ground, the coroner’s office confirmed to CBS News. The flash flood occurred about 30 minutes north of Philadelphia by car and just under a mile from Houghs Creek, a tributary in the Delaware River.
There were an estimated 11 vehicles on the road when the flash flood occurred, Tim Brewer, chief of the Upper Makefield Fire Company, said at a news conference Sunday morning. Authorities have confirmed that three of those cars were swept away in the flood, with eight people rescued from their vehicles and another two rescued from the nearby creek.
On Sunday afternoon, two more people were missing: a 9-month-old baby and his 2-year-old sister. Their mother is among the dead, officials said. The family is from Charleston, South Carolina. They were driving and got caught in flash floods.
Search teams resumed operations in the area after being halted after dark Saturday night.
Authorities said three of the decedent’s cars were found in the creek and recovered, with one car found about 1 1/2 miles downstream from where it entered the water. They viewed the search for those four missing people as a rescue effort, though Brewer said they’re pretty confident it will be a recovery effort. Initially, Brewer said four people were missing. He gave no details about the three victims who were confirmed dead.
In the northeastern US, forecasters on Sunday warned of possible flash flooding and tornadoes linked to the latest bout of severe weather.
The National Weather Service issued a flash flood warning for parts of Connecticut, including Danbury, Shelton and Waterbury, that would remain active until at least 11 a.m. ET. Storm Prediction Center officials also warned that the “potential for a few short-term tornadoes may gradually increase through 10 a.m. EDT,” in parts of Connecticut, New York, New Hampshire, Vermont and Massachusetts, NWS New York tweeted.
The Weather Service conducted a formal tornado watch for nine New Hampshire counties, scheduled to end on Sunday afternoon, while New York City Emergency Management officials insisted residents to prepare for possible flash flooding, as the showers and thunderstorms were expected to continue throughout the day, with up to two inches of rain possible in some areas.
“A reminder that the risk of flash flooding is elevated today, especially during this morning! Practice good safety practices! Much of the area is at moderate risk of excessive rainfall, which is uncommon in our area!” NWS New York said in another tweet shared early on Sunday. An accompanying chart from the Weather Service showed that the probability of excessive rainfall leading to “rapid flooding” was 40% for much of the coastal region, including parts of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Vermont and New Hampshire.
Several flood watches and tornado watches were also in effect for parts of Maine for most of the day on Sunday, according to a National Weather Service bulletin.