Devastating Floods in Northeastern United States: Recovery Efforts and Tragic Consequences

2023-07-17 13:30:27

The northeastern United States began to recover Monday from torrential rains that caused at least five deaths from flooding in Pennsylvania.

A nine-month-old baby and his 2-year-old sister were missing in Upper Makefield Township, Bucks County, Pennsylvania, along the Delaware River, when they were swept away Saturday afternoon while in a vehicle.

Fire Chief Tim Brewer reported about 6.5 to 7 inches (18 centimeters) of rain fell in 45 minutes.

The children are part of a family from Charleston, South Carolina, who were visiting family and friends. They were on their way to a barbecue when the vehicle got stuck in the water, Brewer said.

“When they tried to avoid the flood waters, the father took his 4-year-old son while the mother and grandmother took the other two children, Brewer said. Father and son were “miraculously saved … but the grandmother, the mother and the two children were washed away,” Brewer said. The mother was among those found dead.

There was flooding in New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, and New Jersey. A tornado formed Sunday morning in North Brookfield, Massachusetts, but no damage or casualties were reported. In New Hampshire, the rains were so heavy that they forced the postponement of NASCAR races on Sunday.

No damage was reported in Vermont, where almost a week ago it rained the equivalent of two months in two days. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg was headed there on Monday.

More rain is expected in the area on Tuesday.

The storms led to the cancellation or delay of hundreds of flights in the New York City area on Sunday.

New York State Governor Kathy Hochul said 5 inches (13 centimeters) of rain fell in two hours in Suffolk County on Long Island. The state suffered $50 million in damage from the storms last week.

In North Carolina, authorities blamed flooding for the death of a 49-year-old woman whose vehicle was swept away by floodwaters in Alexander County Saturday night. A man who was with her in the vehicle was rescued.


Contributing to this story were Philadelphia correspondents Ron Todt; David Collins in Hartford, Connecticut; Sarah Brumfield in Silver Spring, Maryland; Kathy McCormack in Concord, New Hampshire; Patrick Whittle in Portland, Maine and Leah Willingham in Charleston, West Virginia.

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