Over 200 000 without power, evacuations and high-water rescues as severe thunderstorms hit U.S.

Over 200 000 without power, evacuations and high-water rescues as severe thunderstorms hit U.S.

Severe thunderstorms hit the eastern United States on June 20, 2019, bringing strong winds and heavy rain. Some areas received more than 1 month of average June rainfall in just 48 hours. Storms also affected other parts of the country since June 19, causing floods and landslides.

Severe thunderstorms brought winds in excess of 80 km/h (50 mph) and heavy rain over already saturated ground, downing trees and power poles and leaving over 215 000 customers without power as of late Thursday, June 20.

The worst affected states were North and South Carolina where 145 000 customers lost power. As of 09:00 UTC on June 21, 14 613 customers were without power in South Carolina, 11 845 in North Carolina, 10 057 in Virginia and 35 902 in Arkansas.

Columbia, SC registered wind gust of 127 km/h (79 mph) and Duck, NC 125 km/h (78 mph).

Philadelphia, PA registered 121.9 mm (4.8 inches) of rain in 48 hours to 19:00 EDT, June 20, bringing its monthly total to 195.8 mm (7.71 inches). Its average rainfall for the entire month of June is 87.1 mm (3.43 inches).

Floods, landslides and high-water rescue operations were reported across the region, from Ohio to New Jersey.

A state of emergency was declared in Burlington County, NJ after floods forced evacuations of numerous homes in Southampton, Pemberton Township, Pemberton Borough, Lumberton, Medford, Mount Laurel, Burlington City and Mount Holly

High-water rescues also took place in Westville, NJ and in Vincentown, PA where rescuers had to use boats to evacuate residents.

In southwestern Ohio, the heavy rain caused a landslide on a Cincinnati-area parkway, AP reported. Another landslide closed part of State Route 7 in eastern Ohio's Jefferson County. Roads also closed Wednesday night in Columbus and part of Interstate 71 near Grove City Wednesday night.

A number of roads and highways were closed and thousands of flights delayed.

Severe thunderstorms are possible across parts of the northern and central Plains, southeast across the middle and lower Missouri and mid-Mississippi Valleys, to the Tennessee Valley region on Friday and Friday night, June 21. The main threats are very large hail and damaging wind. Excessive rainfall may lead to flash flooding over portions of the Midwest, NWS warns.

Featured image credit: ChrisofCleve


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