- By Madeline Halbert & Brandon Drennon
- BBC News, New York and Washington DC
More than 13 million people in the US Northeast are under flood warnings as a deadly storm that has already caused widespread damage inundates the region.
Flash flooding is expected from heavy rains across New England through Tuesday morning, with Vermont facing the highest risk, forecasters said.
Officials warned that parts of Vermont could face “catastrophic” flooding on a scale not seen since 2011.
New York’s governor has declared a state of emergency in two counties.
A flood watch has been issued for Pennsylvania, New York, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey and Connecticut until at least Tuesday afternoon.
A 30-year-old woman died after flooding flooded streets in New York state on Sunday.
He tried to leave the house with the dog for safety.
“She passed out with a pet and lost her footing and unfortunately was swept down a ravine,” an Orange County, New York official told NBC News.
More intense rain is forecast for northeastern New York state and parts of northern Vermont.
“Dangerous flooding is forecast to continue or worsen overnight in these areas, with impacts ranging from flash flooding to river flooding,” the National Weather Service (NWS) said Monday.
The NWS warned much of Vermont to be on alert for “disastrous flooding not seen in this part of the country since 2011.”
Flooding has already hit the New England state, making many areas inaccessible. US media reported that people were being forced to travel by boat and that churches were being turned into shelters.
Crews from North Carolina, Michigan and Connecticut are working on the rescue in Vermont.
They are trying to reach towns like Londonderry and Weston that have been cut off by floods.
“It’s an all-hands-on-deck response,” Vermont Gov. Bill Scott said at a Monday news conference.
“We haven’t seen rain like this since Irene, and in some places it will exceed that.”
In 2011, Tropical Storm Irene killed six people in Vermont.
At another news conference on Monday, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul said the storm “spinned cars off our streets.”
“The amount of water is extraordinary,” he said.
The town of Stormville, about 50 miles (80 km) northeast of New York City, received 8in (20 cm) of rain from Sunday to Monday.
Governor Hochul said people were missing and declared a state of emergency for two counties.
Homes, businesses and roads were significantly damaged in Orange County.
At the US Army’s West Point Academy, nearly 7in of rain fell in three hours. US media described it as a 1,000-year rainfall event at the site.
“West Point is on Code Red,” the military academy wrote in a Facebook post on Monday.
The storm is not expected to fully leave the region until late Tuesday or early Wednesday, the NWS added.
Meanwhile, more than 1,000 flights to New York airports were canceled due to the weather.
Amtrak suspended train services between New York City and Albany due to flooding of damaged tracks.
Many factors contribute to flooding, but the warming atmosphere caused by climate change increases extreme rainfall.
Intense heat is forecast for the southwestern United States this week, including Arizona, where the NWS said conditions “rival some of the worst heat waves this region has ever seen.”