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Otterman speaks...

Cycling, macintosh, natural history and life in Singapore - Archives

List of Categories : travel * museum * cycling * Singapore Naturalist * science * kakis * mangroves * movies * mac and the internet * meow * NUS * life in Singapore * lit * world *

Mon 16 Apr 2007

Worst flooding in US northeast since Sep '99

Category : travel

Ladybug has been delayed a day in Newark after the flight out of Boston was delayed by several hours this morning (last night over there). She missed the connecting flight by minutes and the inability to check in by internet compounded the problem. Thankfully she got into a hotel - it turns out lots of people were having severe problems in the region, and many travellers were stranded, and having to sleep over in the airport.

"U.S. Northeast Storm Causes Floods; Flights Delayed." By Adam Satariano & Nancy Kercheval. Bloomberg, 16 Apr 2007.

April 16 (Bloomberg) -- A rain and wind storm disrupted travel in the northeastern U.S. for a second day after causing flooding in coastal areas, disruptions in commuter traffic and the deaths of at least eight people.

New York area airports, including LaGuardia Airport, John F. Kennedy International Airport and Newark Liberty International Airport, began to recover today after canceling 500 flights yesterday, said Pasquale DiFulco, a spokesman for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. "Everything is moving," he said.

The system brought some of the worst flooding since Tropical Storm Floyd hit the region in September 1999, the National Weather Service said. New York has a flood watch and a coastal flood advisory in effect until 1 p.m. local time. A two-day rainfall total of as much as 9 inches (23 centimeters) is possible in some areas, the weather service said.

U.S. Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton's speech at the Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers University was postponed because of the weather, according to the school's Web site.

LaGuardia reported delays of more than two hours at 9 a.m.; Boston's General Edward Lawrence Logan International Airport was almost two hours behind schedule; Newark Liberty International Airport had delays of as much as three hours; Washington Dulles International Airport was running about an hour late and Philadelphia International Airport had delays of 19 minutes, the FAA said.

Airline Advisories

US Airways Group Inc., UAL Corp.'s United Airlines and Delta Air Lines Inc. advised customers on their Web sites that delays are possible throughout the Northeast because of the weather.

Consolidated Edison Inc. began cutting gas and electric service to 1,500 residential and business customers in the coastal communities of Westchester County, New York, where flooding threatens equipment in basements.

Commuter rails in the New York City area were anticipating delays this morning as they combined and canceled scheduled trips into Penn Station, where flooding closed one of two tunnels, transportation officials said.

"We anticipate delays of 35 to 45 minutes into Penn Station," said James Castle, a spokesman for the Long Island Rail Road that carries 280,000 customers daily. "I think a lot of people will stay home." All trips to Hunters Point were canceled.

Metro-North Railroad reported as much as a 30-minute delay for Harlem Line customers, while North White Plains station users were advised that 875 parking spaces were under water. New Jersey Transit suspended several lines and reported delays of up to 20 minutes for services between New York and Newark.

Amtrak Problems

Amtrak canceled four trains in and out of Penn Station because of high water, said spokeswoman Tracy Connell.

"We're moving slowly but so far we've been able to accommodate everyone with tickets on other trains," Connell said at 5 a.m. New York time.

New Jersey Acting Governor Richard Codey declared a state of emergency because of "significant river and tidal flooding and coastal beach erosion." Codey urged residents to stay home after several roads were closed.

New York experienced the second wettest day on record as 7.57 inches of rain fell on Central Park yesterday, said Joe Pollina, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Upton, New York. The record of 8.28 inches was set Sept. 23, 1882.

An inch of rain is expected to fall in the New York area where "the storm is expected to linger through today and make headway late tonight," Pollina said. "We'll have precipitation through Wednesday although it won't be as heavy as yesterday."

Winds and Tornadoes

The storm system, which killed at least five people as it rolled across the Great Plains late last week, unleashed six tornadoes in South Carolina, North Carolina and Florida. One death was reported after a tornado struck a mobile home in South Carolina and another person was killed as a result of high winds in the state, according to the center's Web site. Two people died in traffic accidents in New York and Connecticut.

West Virginia Governor Joe Manchin III issued a state of emergency yesterday for the rain and river flooding that started April 14.

As many as 700 Lincoln County, West Virginia, residents downstream from Lee Johnson Fishing Lake were advised to leave their homes yesterday as an earthen dam threatened to break and unleash "millions of gallons of water," said Allen Holder, director of emergency services.

NYC Says Roads Bad

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg advised people to use public transportation today rather than drive.

"Clearly the roads are very bad, and nightfall will only make things worse," Bloomberg said yesterday during a press conference. "I can't encourage you enough to use mass transit."

Travelers yesterday experienced delays of as much as 8 1/2 hours. Airlines canceled about 500 flights at New York's three major airports, DiFulco said.

Rain is forecast to continue falling in Boston, where the 111th Boston Marathon is scheduled for today. The Boston Athletic Association cautioned participants to watch for hypothermia. The morning wind-chill factor will be 25 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 4 degrees Celsius).

Residents in the New York area were warned the storm could be the worst nor'easter since December 1992. The storm 15 years ago killed at least four people in New England, prompted a 4-foot (1.2-meter) tidal surge, waves as high as 25 feet, wind gusts of 80 miles (129 kilometers) per hour and flood waters as deep as 5 feet in New York and Boston.

The mayor is founder and majority owner of Bloomberg News parent Bloomberg LP.

To contact the reporter on this story:

Adam Satariano in San Francisco at Asatariano1@bloomberg.net

Last Updated: April 16, 2007 09:25 EDT

Posted at 4:11PM UTC by N. Sivasothi | permalink | , .