Floods deluge US north-east; 13 million residents under storm watch

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Floods deluge US north-east; 13 million residents under storm watch

More than 13 million people in the US north-east are under flood alerts as a deadly storm that has already caused widespread damage deluges the region.

Flash flooding from excessive rainfall was expected across New England until Tuesday morning with Vermont facing the highest risk, forecasters said.

Officials warned parts of Vermont to brace for “catastrophic” flooding on a level not seen since 2011.

New York state’s governor has declared a state of emergency in two counties.

Flood watches will also remain until at least Tuesday afternoon for parts of Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey and Connecticut.

A woman in her 30s died in New York state as flood waters swept through streets on Sunday.

She was trying to flee her home with her dog for safety.

“She crossed with a pet and lost her footing and unfortunately was washed away down into a ravine,” an official for Orange County, New York, official told NBC News.

More intense rainfall is forecast for far north-eastern New York state and parts of northern Vermont.

“Dangerous flooding in these areas is forecast to continue or worsen throughout the night, with impacts turning from flash flooding to river flooding,” the National Weather Service (NWS) said on Monday.

The NWS warned much of Vermont to be on alert for “catastrophic flooding that has not been seen in this part of the country since 2011”.

Flooding has already occurred in the New England state, rendering multiple areas inaccessible. US media report people being forced to travel via canoes, and churches being converted into shelters.

Crews from North Carolina, Michigan and Connecticut have joined the rescue effort in Vermont.

They are trying to reach towns like Londonderry and Weston that have been cut off by the deluge.

“This is an all-hands-on-deck response,” Vermont Governor Phil Scott told a Monday press conference.

“We have not seen rainfall like this since Irene, and in some places, it will surpass even that.”

In 2011 Tropical Storm Irene killed six people in Vermont.

At another news conference on Monday, New York Governor Kathy Hochul said the storm had sent “cars swirling in our streets”.

“The amount of water is extraordinary,” she said.

The aptly named town of Stormville, 50 miles (80 km) north-east of New York City, saw 8in (20 cm) of rain from Sunday to Monday.

Governor Hochul said people were missing and declared a state of emergency for two counties.