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Record rain brings dangerous flash flooding and strong winds to Northeast

In World
April 12, 2024

The severe weather that has dumped record amounts of rain across much of the country this week reached the interior Northeast last night bringing dangerous flash flooding, with wet conditions set to last into the weekend.

Large parts of Pennsylvania faced torrential weather Thursday and overnight as Wednesday’s storms moved up the East Coast, with Pittsburgh receiving a record 2.77 inches of rain, smashing the record of 1.46 inches that had lasted since 1933, the National Weather Service said.

The rain is caused by a powerful low pressure system that will affect the Great Lakes, Ohio Valley and Northeast, bringing showers and thunderstorms throughout Friday, the weather service said.

More than 50,000 customers were without power early Friday morning across the Virginias, New York and Pennsylvania, according to the utility tracking website PowerOutage.us.

Videos shot by people across western Pennsylvania showed rushing rivers, flooded streets and rescue crews battling through water to get to stricken motorists and residents.

Swiftwater Rescue Paramedics rescue a driver trapped in a vehicle in Pittsburgh on April 12, 2024. (Pittsburgh Public Safety Dept. )

Swiftwater Rescue Paramedics rescue a driver trapped in a vehicle in Pittsburgh on April 12, 2024. (Pittsburgh Public Safety Dept. )

Entire streets in the Pittsburgh suburb of Oakdale had become rivers, with cars submerged and dumpsters floating away. Many roads are still closed.

Strong winds in Harrisburg tore huge trees to pieces, a moment caught on a doorbell camera.

Thursday’s rain was not just strong but historic: April is now the third wettest month on record for the city, the weather service said, and it has experienced the wettest 11-day start to any month since records began.

Adding weight to suggestions that such frequent severe weather is part of a growing trend caused by climate change, the weather service pointed out that this is already the first month in which the daily rainfall record has been broken twice.

Flooding also affected Savannah, Georgia, and Charleston, West Virginia, where one stranded resident shared video of fast-gushing water flowing along a street outside their home. “Someone is going to have to come get us.” they wrote on Facebook.

Other videos showed heavy winds in North Carolina partially destroying stores and gas stations, taking the roof off one business in Sanford.

“I just happened to look out the window, and I could literally just see the whole roof just flew up. It flew up, and it hit the road,” Jessica Torres told reporters.

A clean-up operation was underway in northern Florida after a tornado touched down near St. Augustine on Thursday. One video showed the twister tearing through a backyard, throwing debris and furniture into the air.

A 64-year-old woman in Mississippi died when a storm caused her oxygen machine to shut down, it was announced Wednesday.

The storms hindered stars such as Tiger Woods at the Masters golf in Augusta, delaying the start of the tournament for more than two hours. But golf fans can look forward to warm weather that is expected for rest of the weekend.

This article was originally published on NBCNews.com

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