Torrential rainfall in the northeastern United States caused flash floods, leading to road washouts, river overflows, and numerous swift boat rescues. The National Weather Service issued flood watches and warnings for over 13 million Americans across a wide area spanning from eastern New York to Boston and western Maine. AccuWeather estimated that the damages and economic losses from the floods could range from $3 billion to $5 billion.
The heavy rains resulted in the cancellation and delay of more than 1,000 flights, and Amtrak suspended passenger train service between Albany and New York City due to track damage caused by flooding. New York and Vermont were particularly hard-hit, with further rainfall predicted to pose additional flood hazards overnight.
In Vermont, the flooding has been described as the worst since Hurricane Irene struck the state as a tropical storm in 2011. Governor Phil Scott declared it an urgent situation, with some areas already receiving 7 to 8 inches of rainfall. Social media videos showed streets resembling raging rivers, and nearly 50 isolated individuals were rescued by swift boat teams, according to Mark Bosma, spokesperson for Vermont Emergency Management. Officials expected rivers to continue rising throughout the night, urging residents to stay vigilant and seek higher ground promptly.
In New York, the rainfall reached over 8 inches, leading to a tragic loss of life. A woman attempting to evacuate her home with her dog was swept away by floodwaters, as witnessed by her fiancé. New York Governor Kathy Hochul expressed her condolences and shared videos and photos on social media that depicted washed-out roads and houses surrounded by raging floodwaters.
The situation remains critical in the affected areas, with ongoing concerns about rising water levels and the potential for further damage. Residents are urged to closely monitor weather updates and prioritise their safety by evacuating to safer locations when necessary. The extensive flooding and associated disruptions demonstrate the destructive power of severe weather events and the importance of preparedness and timely response to mitigate their impact.