News / USA

Wet Weather Pounds Eastern US, Evacuations Ordered

The area's major north-south highway, Route 29, is flooded, Trenton, N.J., as the Delaware River continues to rise, September 8, 2011.
The area's major north-south highway, Route 29, is flooded, Trenton, N.J., as the Delaware River continues to rise, September 8, 2011.

The remnants of Tropical Storm Lee are drenching parts of the northeastern United States, prompting calls in at least one area for a massive evacuation.

Officials in the eastern state of Pennsylvania Thursday ordered 100,000 people to leave their homes and communities near the Susquehanna River before nightfall.

Rains have caused the river to swell and officials say it will likely crest at about 12.5 meters, about the same height as the levees designed to prevent communities along the river from flooding.

Many of the areas being evacuated are the same ones that were inundated by flood water from one of the worst storms in memory - Tropical Storm Agnes in 1972.

The mayor of the city of Wilkes-Barre has told residents they should be prepared to be away from their homes for 72 hours, and to take enough clothing, food and medicine with them.

Earlier Thursday, the National Hurricane Center said Hurricane Katia was moving north between Bermuda and the east coast of the U.S. with maximum sustained winds of 128 kilometers an hour. Forecasters said the Category One storm would weaken as it moves up the Atlantic.

Bermuda is under a tropical storm watch and forecasters are warning of life-threatening rip currents and surf conditions as Katia moves north over the next few days.

Meantime, Tropical Storm Maria is churning farther out in the tropical Atlantic and is moving west, but forecasters say it poses no threat to land.

In Mexico, authorities have issued a warning for part of their coastline following the formation of Tropical Storm Nate in the Gulf of Mexico. Forecasters say Nate will travel east before turning north on Friday, by which time it could become a hurricane.  

September is considered the peak of the Atlantic hurricane season, which has now seen 13 named storms. The hurricane season began June 1 and ends November 30.

Some information for this report was provided by AP..

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