Photos: Floodwaters prompt water rescues, submerge portions of northeastern US

By Amanda Schmidt, AccuWeather staff writer
By Kevin Byrne, AccuWeather staff writer
August 15, 2018, 1:04:43 PM EDT

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A slow-moving storm has plagued portions of the northeastern United States with dangerous flash flooding through the weekend and into the early portion of this week.

On Saturday, parts of northern New Jersey and the New York City area were hit hard by torrential rain and flooding.

During Monday morning, multiple water rescues were performed in southeastern Pennsylvania. Portions of New Jersey and Pennsylvania experienced significant flooding throughout the day.

Dangerous flooding continued into Tuesday, as areas of New York continue to report water rescues and flash flood warnings.

(AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

First responders make their way through floodwaters in Darby, Pa., Monday, Aug. 13, 2018.

(AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

First responders step into floodwaters from a home in Darby, Pa., Monday, Aug. 13, 2018.

(AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Floodwaters partly submerge a van in Darby, Pa., Monday, Aug. 13, 2018.

(AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

People inspect a car and truck partly submerged in floodwaters in Darby, Pa., Monday, Aug. 13, 2018.

(AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

A car surrounded by mud and debris is seen in Little Falls, N.J., Monday, Aug. 13, 2018.

(AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Men use a hose to clear mud and debris from a strip-mall parking lot in Woodland Park, N.J., Monday, Aug. 13, 2018.

(Photo/Bonnie Baker)

Flooding in a backyard in Covington, Pennsylvania, on Monday Aug. 13.

(Ashley Oblinger via AP)

In a Saturday, Aug. 11, 2018 photo, a truck is upended in a sinkhole in Little Falls, N.J.

(AP Photo/Heather Ainsworth)

A bridge along S. Town Line Road in Lodi, N.Y., was washed away by a flooded Breakneck Creek, Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2018. (AP Photo/Heather Ainsworth)

(AP Photo/Heather Ainsworth)

A bridge along S. Town Line Road in Lodi, N.Y., was washed away by a flooded Breakneck Creek, Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2018.

(AP Photo/Heather Ainsworth)

A portion of Upper Lake Road in Lodi, N.Y., is washed away and impassible, Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2018, after flash floods caused by heavy pre-dawn downpours drenched New York state's Finger Lakes region.


"The combination of the extensive moisture from the Gulf states and Southeast states and the slow-moving nature of the storm over a several-day period of heavy rain have led to some heaviest rains that people have experienced," Abrams said.

For example, Little Falls, New Jersey, received in 5 inches in about two hours on Monday.

The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton area of Pennsylvania received record-breaking daily rainfall with 4.25 inches of rain at the official observing point. The previous daily record was about 2.5 inches of rain during Hurricane Camille in 1955, according to Abrams.

The highest National Weather Service (NWS) Spotter total yesterday was 8 inches in Brick Township, New Jersey. However, there was also a CoCoRAHs report of 9.92 inches at Mohnton, Pennsylvania.

PA Flooding 8-13-18

A police car blocks off a bridge submerged in floodwaters in Darby, Pa., Monday, Aug. 13, 2018. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)


"I think that when we look back at this, it will be viewed as one of the most historic heavy rain events not associated with a tropical storm that the Northeast has had," AccuWeather Chief Meteorologist Elliot Abrams said.

While tropical storms are typically associated with these high rainfall totals, the recent rainfall can be linked to atmospheric rivers of moisture that came up from the Gulf of Mexico and southeastern U.S.

"This summer, there have been several of these atmospheric rivers of moisture aimed toward the Northeast. It’s happened over and over again; it happened in July and it’s happened in recent weeks," Abrams said.

Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, has experienced 15.43 inches of rain since July 1, in comparison to the average of about 6 inches that they receive during this time period.

Since Aug. 1, there have been 1,015 spotter reports of flooding in the U.S., mostly in the East. There have also been 374 flood warnings issued by the NWS.

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While the storms have not been particularly strong in terms of wind, they have been slow moving. This allows them to drop significant amounts of rainfall on affected areas.

These tremendous amounts of rainfall have not occurred everywhere. It is not flooding every stream, everywhere like a tropical storm.

"These storms have been more like guerrilla warfare where small areas will receive large amounts of rain, while other surrounding areas will not receive heavy rain," Abrams said.

While this current storm will pass through the area Wednesday, another slow-moving storm is going to affect the region on Friday and Saturday. The storm will likely worsen the recent flooding over the coming days.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo urges local communities to prepare for the upcoming storm, as the recent storm places affected areas in vulnerable situations.

The national guard is pre-deloyed in anticipation of a problem. The state has declared a state of emergency in numerous counties ahead of the potential threat.

The state government has allocated resources so that if the situation arises, the state is prepared to handle it and handle it quickly, Cuomo said in a press conference.

flood 8-14-2018

Flooding this morning on shores of Seneca Lake in Hector, New York, on August 14, 2018. (Twitter/ @DreaFreeman)

flood 8-14-2018

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