Heavy rains swamp US north-east


LEVITTOWN – Torrential downpours from a faded tropical storm inundated the United States north-east yesterday, forcing evacuations, toppling trees, cutting power to thousands and washing out roads during a snarled morning commute.
Water pooled so deeply in a Philadelphia suburb that a car literally floated on top of another car.
Hard rain began falling in Boston early yesterday afternoon as the city braced for the sustained rains that have plagued the Eastern Seaboard over the last two days.
The deluge was blamed for five deaths in North Carolina on Thursday and a sixth in Pennsylvania yesterday – a woman who apparently drove her car into a rain-swollen creek before daybreak.
The storm soaked a great swath of the north-east by the yesterday morning commute, including New York City and Philadelphia. Flights coming into LaGuardia Airport in New York City were delayed three hours and traffic coming into Manhattan was delayed by up to an hour under a pounding rain.
Firefighters in the Philadelphia area used a ladder truck to pull residents through the upper-floor windows of a building. Cars were submerged up to their windows, and a graphic artist found another vehicle floating atop his car.
“I’m a little frustrated, but what can you do? This is just nature,” said the artist, 33-year-old Ismail Dibona.
Rainfall totals in the Philadelphia area topped ten inches. Parts of upstate New York had unofficial totals of more than six inches of rain and New York City’s Central Park recorded 3.08 inches.
More than 26 000 power outages were reported in Connecticut, while New Jersey had just over 14 000 homes and businesses without electricity. More than 12 000 customers in the New York suburbs had lost power, but many had been restored by midmorning as the deluge reduced to a drizzle. (AP)


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