Thursday, September 15, 2011

Remnants of Tropical Storm Lee Flood New York's Southern Tier, Parts of Pennsylvania

Floowaters from an already saturated Susquehanna river topped levees and retaining walls in Broome County, NY inundating downtown Binghampton as well as nearby Johnson City, Endicott, Vestal and Owego in the wake of Tropical Storm Lee. Many evacuees in the area took shelter at Binghaton University's events center.

To the south, mandatory evacuation orders were in place in the Wilkes-Barre, PA area due to concerns that the Susquehanna would top levees there.

The flooding also shut down two highways in the region- I-88, which links Binghamton with the Albany, NY area and NY-17, which goes west to Elmira, Corning and further west to Erie, PA. For the second time in two weeks, both CSX and Canadian Pacific experienced disruptions along their lines south and west of Albany, NY. A Canadian Pacific Spokesman said that the former Delaware & Hudson line between Binghamton and Albany NY was washed out in two locations, but that crews were going to work on them when the floodwaters receded.

Lee was the second major storm to strike the area in two weeks. Many businesses and schools were attempting to reopen after sustaining flood damage from Tropical Storm Irene moved through the area at the very end of August. Much of Vermont and the Mohawk River valley in New York state were hit particularly hard by fast moving floodwaters that destroyed homes, businesses, schools, roads and bridges. Damages from the two storms are estimated to cost at least $100 Million in New York state alone

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