Floods hit the US Eastern Seaboard

Heavy rains cause chaos along the Atlantic coast of North America from the Carolinas to the Canadian Maritimes.

Floods hit the US Eastern Seaboard
As many as 11 states in the eastern US have been affected by the torrential downpours this week [AFP]

As concerns turn towards Hurricane Joaquin as it moves closer to the Mid-Atlantic States of the US, parts of the Eastern Seaboard are already mopping up after a spell of flooding rains.

As many as 11 states in the eastern US have been affected by the torrential downpours this week. Many areas have recorded between 50 to 150mm of rain.

At one stage, the governor of Virginia declared a state of emergency as the Roanoke River at Shawville breached the “major flood” threshold. The waters crested at 2.8 metres on Tuesday, which is the second highest on record after the 3.4 metres reached on June 21 in 1972.

The heaviest rains have since moved north, and flood warnings and watches are in force from the central Appalachians to New England.

Albany, the capital of New York, had 90mm of rain in the 24 hours up to 06:00 GMT on Thursday.

The heavy rains extended across New England, causing widespread disruption in Portland, Maine, where lunchtime traffic was brought to a standstill as roads were turned into rivers.

North of the border, the rain was even heavier. St Stephen and Miramichi, both in New Brunswick, recorded 133mm and 134mm of rain respectively in the same period.

Back in the Atlantic, all eyes are returning to the Mid-Atlantic states this weekend.

Hurricane Joaquin is now a Category 3 storm on the Saffir-Simpson scale.

There is still some uncertainty as to where it will make landfall as it strengthens further, but the majority of forecasts expect it to pass close to or even make landfall on the North Carolina coast sometime on Sunday.

Source: Al Jazeera