More than 13 million Americans from eastern New York state to Boston and western Maine were under flood watches and warnings after storms that began over the weekend flooded rivers and streams, the National Weather Service said in its forecast for Monday.
Private forecaster AccuWeather has given a preliminary estimate of $3 billion to $5 billion in damages and economic losses, based on its own method of assessment.
Crews survey a severely damaged road near Bear Mountain State Park after heavy overnight rain and flooding in Highland Falls.
The rain caused more than 1,000 flights to and from airports across the region to be delayed or canceled on Monday, including LaGuardia in New York and Logan in Boston.
Amtrak suspended passenger train service between the state capital, Albany, and New York City The tracks were damaged by the flood, as happened on the Metro-North commuter railroad, which shares some of the same tracks.
A severely damaged road near Bear Mountain State Park is closed after heavy overnight rain and flooding in Highland Falls, New York.
New York and Vermont were the worst affected states. The service said more rainfall is expected through the night and into Tuesday, further increasing the risk of flooding.
Vermont officials are predicting the flooding to be the worst since Hurricane Irene reached the state as a tropical storm in 2011.
“It’s an all-encompassing program,” Vermont Governor Phil Scott said at a news conference.
Some parts of Vermont had already received 7 to 8 inches (17 and 20 cm) of rain, turning roads into swollen rivers.
About 50 isolated people were rescued by speedboats, Vermont Emergency Management spokesman Mark Bosma said on WCAX television.
Authorities fear rivers will flood overnight, threatening cities such as the state capital Montpellier.
“We really want people to be extremely vigilant and monitor the weather and not wait too long to get to higher ground,” Bosma said.
City clerk Janet Haight said Swift boat crews rescued about a dozen campers in Andover.
“A bridge had been washed away and that was the only way in or out,” he said. “The call for help went out at 4am, and they launched a quick boat rescue operation. Everyone is safe this morning.”
In New York, Stormville, a small town 50 miles (80 km) northeast of New York City, received more than 8 inches of rain from Sunday to Monday.
The weather killed an Orange County, New York, woman who was swept away by floodwaters while trying to leave her home with her dog on Sunday, officials said.
“His fiancee literally saw him drift away,” New York Governor Cathy Hochul told a news conference in the city of Highland Falls.
Most of the flooding in New York occurred along the Hudson River north of New York City, including the Orange County town of West Point, which is home to the Army’s US Military Academy.
Videos and photos posted on social media showed damaged roads and raging flood waters reaching homes on Sunday and Monday mornings.
“Oh my God. It’s up to my knees,” Melissa Roberts said in a video showing floodwaters rushing through her and several vehicles into homes in Orange County.