At least six people have died and two children are missing after a slow-moving thunderstorm hit the east coast over the weekend, causing severe flooding in several areas. A deadly flash flood occurred, washing away dozens of vehicles and canceling hundreds of flights.
A deadly flash flood Saturday night brought torrential rains to parts of Bucks County outside Philadelphia. (Upper Makefield Police Station)
Some of the worst flooding was localized in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, particularly Upper Makefield Township, which is located near the New Jersey border north of Philadelphia. Several vehicles were swept away by heavy rain in the Washington Crossing area Saturday evening, local officials said. At least five people were dead and two children were missing as of Monday afternoon.
On Monday afternoon, the Upper Makefield Township Police Department released the names of the two missing children with permission from the victim’s family. The search continues for two-year-old Matilda (Mattie) Shields and her 9-month-old Conrad Shields. The mother’s body was recovered Sunday and identified as Katie Selley, 32.
“Their loving father, Jim Shields, and the entire family would like to thank everyone for their prayers and support, and for their extensive search efforts to find Matty and Conrad. I would also like to thank all the staff,” the police department said. .
At a news conference Sunday afternoon, Upper Makefield Fire Chief Tim Brewer said the family were visiting the area from Charleston, South Carolina, and were on their way to BBQ when a flash flood trapped the car on Route 532. said it was
Jim Shields and the children’s grandmother (whose identity is unknown) were able to escape with Shields’ four-year-old son, while Seeley fled with two young children. But officials said Shields’ fiancée Celie, Matty and Conrad were washed away in the flood.
About 6 to 7 inches of rain fell in parts of the area within two hours Saturday evening, Brewer said.
“Three to four inches of rain fell in about an hour near Washington Crossing, Pennsylvania. Such short-term rainfall is a 1-in-500 to 1-in-1,000-year event. , the probability of such an event occurring in a given year is 0.1% to 0.2%,” said Dan Depodwin, director of forecasting operations at AccuWeather.
Depodwin explained that the tragic and deadly flash flood in Bucks County was the result of a narrow band of heavy rain.
“I haven’t seen anything like this in 44 years,” Brewer said at a press conference. “When the water came up, it came up with great force.”
Brewer said Monday’s milder weather will allow more personnel to search for the missing children.
“We were able to triple the assets deployed as we expanded the search area,” the police department said in a Facebook post. “We have teams of foot searches, teams of boats searching the Delaware River, drone teams, diver teams and sonar technology. Efforts are made.”
The identities of other flood victims have not yet been released.
Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro visited the flood site on Sunday.
“Thank you to the first responders who worked through the night to rescue people caught in the floods and keep people safe. ,” said Shapiro. said in a Twitter post. “Our prayers are with those who are awaiting news of their loved ones and those who have lost friends, family and neighbors. May their memories be a blessing.”
Emergency crews were dispatched to a water rescue in north Charlotte, Alexander County, North Carolina just before 11:30 p.m. EDT on Saturday, the WSOC reported. Upon arriving at the scene, the crew found a lone individual clinging to a tree. Rafts were deployed, victims were rescued and eventually treated for non-life-threatening injuries.
The victim told authorities another person jumped out of the car they were in and into the water. After an extensive search, the body of 49-year-old Lisa Michelle Riahi was found about two miles from the scene.
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The area where the incident occurred reported 7.3 inches of rainfall, according to the Alexander County Emergency Department.
Torrential rains hit the storm-hit northeast, flooding areas from New Jersey to Maine. Hundreds of flights and some events were canceled due to heavy rains.
Tweed New Haven, a small airport in New Haven, Connecticut, closed Sunday afternoon after repeated showers and storm surges flooded the airport’s only runway.
”[Tweed-New Haven Airport] Acts as a bowl to collect nearby floodwaters. ” Airport officials wrote on Twitter:. “When the tide recedes, we need to open the floodgates to drain the water out of the channel.”
As of Monday morning, the airport announced the flood had receded, saying:fully operational” again.
A thunderstorm slowly moves across New England on Sunday, July 16th. (AccuWeather)
In addition to the cancellation at Tweed Airport, about 800 flights were canceled across the Northeast on Sunday. Newark Revert Airport in Newark, New Jersey leads the world with 180 canceled flights as of Sunday night, according to FlightAware.
New York City’s John F. Kennedy Airport had 159 canceled flights, accounting for 21% of departures at the airport. Similarly, New York City’s LaGuardia Airport and Boston Logan International Airport also canceled more than 100 flights on Sunday evening.
New York Governor Kathy Hochul urged people to stay off the roads until the storm has passed on Sunday. Five inches of rain fell in less than two hours in Suffolk County on Long Island Sunday morning, Hochul said.
This image shows rain in the northeastern United States from Saturday, July 15th through Sunday, July 16th.
“It’s raining. It looks like it won’t stop raining this year.” At a press conference, Hochul said:. “Flash floods don’t give a warning…unnecessary travel should be avoided.”
New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy declared: emergency Severe weather on Sunday affected the entire state. Murphy said in a tweet that the state is experiencing dangerous weather conditions, including heavy rains, flash floods and dangerous winds.
There were reports Sunday afternoon that vehicles were stranded near New Brunswick, New Jersey, due to flooding. In Edison, N.J., the right north-south lane of Exit 1 of Interstate 287 was closed due to flooding.
The NASCAR Cup Series race in Loudoun, New Hampshire, has been postponed due to a storm hitting the Northeast, according to NASCAR. The Crayon 301 race was originally scheduled for Sunday afternoon, but has been moved to Monday noon.
The region was under flash flood warning, regional flood watch and tornado watch on Sunday afternoon, with tornado watch ending at 3:00 pm EDT, half an hour after the race was originally scheduled to start.
John Basher of Buffalo, NY holding an umbrella while walking on a wet racetrack at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudoun, NH on Sunday, July 16, 2023 Sunday’s Crayon 301 NASCAR Cup Series race Postponed to Monday, July 17, 2023, officials announced on Sunday due to bad weather. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
Reed Timmer, an extreme meteorologist in Madison, New Hampshire, about an hour and a half north of Loudoun, said the heavy rains caused flash floods that cut off highways and covered roads with rocks and debris.
In a video Timmer shared, half of Highway 113 turned into a torrent and the entire road was covered with rocks. Timmer said the water was flowing from Highway 113 onto the property just below the road.
“All this flow is going into the home,” Timmer said. “The vehicle is buried in dirt and rocks underfoot.”
More rain fell in hard-hit states as Vermont continued to recover from recent floods. The National Weather Service (NWS) office in Burlington, Vermont, has warned of the possibility of more landslides due to recent heavy rains in the area.
The alert came days after a landslide struck Ripton on Friday, destroying one home, affecting more than a dozen others and prompting the evacuation of homeowners, according to NBC5.
A thunderstorm brought heavy rain on Friday, with radar estimated 3 to 3.5 inches of rain in the Ripton area. When torrential rain continues for a long time, landslides and debris flows may occur.
The NWS issued a tornado watch for large areas of New England as a storm hit Massachusetts early Sunday morning. Severe thunderstorms hit central Massachusetts, prompting several tornado warnings to be issued Sunday morning.
At least one tornado made landfall just before 11 a.m. EDT in Northbrookfield, Massachusetts, located between Springfield and Boston.
The EF0 Twister damaged trees in the area, but no injuries were reported, according to the NWS office in Boston.
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