September 22, 2020

Days of rain trigger widespread floods

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WILKES-BARRE, Pa. (AP) — Stretches of the swollen Susquehanna River in New York and Pennsylvania were receding Friday morning after days of rainfall from what had been Tropical Storm Lee flooded communities around the Northeast, sweeping homes off their foundations and forcing nearly 100,000 people to seek higher ground. At least 11 deaths have been blamed on Lee and its remnants.

The damage was concentrated along the Susquehanna in Wilkes-Barre and dozens of miles up the river in Binghamton, N.Y., as well as other communities along the river. The National Weather Service said the Susquehanna crested above 38 feet Thursday night in Wilkes-Barre — below the top of the levee system protecting residents in northeastern Pennsylvania.

The flood waters that inundated the city of Binghamton and surrounding communities were receding Friday morning, but there was no indication yet when some of the 20,000 evacuees could expect to return to their homes.

Broome County Deputy Emergency Manager Raymond Serowik told The Associated Press that the Susquehanna was receding slowly and that authorities were just beginning to gain access to some areas to assess the damage from Thursday’s record flooding.

The mayor of Binghamton said the flooding was the worst in more than 60 years.

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