At least four people died and three more were left missing Sunday morning after severe flooding hit areas of Pennsylvania on Saturday.
In a news conference Sunday morning, Tim Brewer, the fire chief for Upper Makefield in Bucks County, said 11 vehicles were trapped by rising waters on the flooded Washington Crossing Road Saturday afternoon.
« The flash flood occurred some time later, » Mr. Brewer said. “We believe around 11 cars were on the road. Three were confirmed wiped out.
Eight people were rescued from cars and two were rescued from Houghs Creek, he said.
« We currently have three confirmed victims and four are missing, » he added. « We’re treating this as a bailout, but we’re pretty sure we’re in recovery mode right now. »
An estimated 6 to 8 inches of rain fell in the North Philadelphia area in less than 45 minutes, Brewer said.
« In my 44 years, I’ve never seen anything like it, » he said. « When the water went up, it went up very quickly. »
He said he always thought Hurricane Ida, the deadliest hurricane that occurred in 2021, was « the benchmark » for severe weather in the area.
« This is the new benchmark, » he said.
He declined to give details of those who died but confirmed that two of the victims were women and one was a man.
Local Police on Sunday She said that his search efforts would continue, with three or four people « still missing ».
Another body was recovered in the creek just before 11am on Sunday, Mr Brewer said. Rescuers were still looking for two children from the same family, a 9-month-old boy and a 2-year-old girl, along with an adult woman.
And the rains weren’t over yet, with the National Weather Service report Heavy rains and flash flooding « remain a concern » for areas in southeastern Pennsylvania Sunday morning. More rainfall and storms were expected to continue throughout the day. A flash flood the warning remained in effect for several counties as of Sunday morning.
Heavy rain and flooding are also expected in areas of Connecticut and Massachusetts on Sunday. Tornado and flood watches were in effect in parts of Connecticut, with « heavy thunderstorms » and « excessive rain » expected.
This flooding comes just days after a powerful, record-breaking two-day storm devastated parts of Vermont and upstate New York last week, damaging thousands of homes and businesses and killing at least one in every state.
Storms, fires and floods are becoming more frequent and more severe due to global warming, experts say. Warmer temperatures allow the air to hold more moisture, leading to more rainfall and flooding.