After the flood, Germany battles to clear mountains of trash

By Andi Kranz and Leon Kuegeler

BAD NEUENAHR, Germany (Reuters) – Germany’s most devastating floods in 60 years have created mountains of trash, from broken fridges to wrecked cars, piled up on roadsides and in makeshift dumps. Disposing of it could take weeks and local leaders have appealed for help.

Amid the stench and fear of disease, the country that pioneered modern waste management is struggling to cope with the tens of thousands of tonnes of wreckage strewn across the towns and villages of its western Rhinelands after the heaviest 24-hour deluge on record.

The flooding claimed at least 180 lives.

A week on, much of the trash has been heaped into piles so that streets are passable or carted off to makeshift dumps.

For resident Hans-Peter Bleken in Bad Neuenahr, a wine-growing hub in Rhineland-Palatinate that was one of the towns worst hit, a clean-up operation led by the fire brigade and army has been a “brilliant help”.

“The next big problem is going to be the huge piles of household rubbish,” he told Reuters, saying the stench from rotting food waste was everywhere.

“We have beaten corona but if we now get the bacteria, the rats and more viruses then that will be our problem.”

Germany pioneered modern waste management in the 1970s, introducing the concept of separating rubbish to go for recycling, incineration or into landfill.

Yet the sheer amount of trash is far more than the waste-management industry can cope with. Construction firms and farmers are helping to shift wreckage, but with storage facilities full up, temporary dumps are having to be found.

“The greatest challenge is the huge amounts of bulky waste,” said Anna Ephan, a spokesperson for Remondis, the largest private waste management company in Germany. “The amounts are inconceivable.”

EXPORTING TRASH

In Germany’s most populous state of North Rhine-Westphalia, governor Armin Laschet told a news conference on Thursday: “It won’t be possible to dispose of all the waste locally. We need wider help.”

Laschet is the conservative candidate to succeed Chancellor Angela Merkel at a general election in September. A poll this week for Spiegel magazine found 60% of Germans considered Laschet to be a poor crisis manager.

The cathedral city of Cologne, the state’s largest city with a population of more than a million, has issued an appeal on Facebook for help to clear “unimaginable quantities” of trash.

“The districts and households affected need urgent support to quickly cope with this task, as our existing infrastructure is already exhausted,” read the appeal, which included a hotline number for helpers to call.

Most of the rubbish will have to be incinerated, but with municipal and commercial facilities running more or less flat out before the flood catastrophe, there is scant spare capacity.

“This is coming on top of all the rubbish that we already process – and it’s unexpected,” said Bernhard Schodrowski of the BDE waste-management industry association.

There are huge challenges to safely store the rubbish to minimize the risk of disease, said Schodrowski, while many companies in the sector are also battling to restore supplies of clean water and repair sewage systems.

“We’re hopeful but it will be a question of weeks before we are able to master this challenge,” said Schodrowski.

(Additional reporting by Anneli Palmen in Duesseldorf, Writing and additional reporting by Douglas Busvine; Editing by Janet Lawrence)

Hurricane Isaias heads toward Florida with 75-mph winds – Hurricane Center

By Zachary Fagenson

MIAMI (Reuters) – Heavy rains from Hurricane Isaias could hit Florida late Friday night before the powerful storm moves up the East Coast into early next week, the U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC) warned, prompting the closure of COVID-19 testing sites.

The hurricane, packing maximum sustained winds of 75 miles (120.7 km) per hour, is currently lashing the southeastern part of the Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands, the Miami-based forecaster posted on its Twitter feed on Friday.

“Heavy rains associated with Isaias may begin to affect south and east-Central Florida beginning late Friday night, and the eastern Carolinas by early next week, potentially resulting in isolated flash and urban flooding, especially in low-lying and poorly drained areas” the NHC said on its website.

Miami-Dade County officials closed drive-through and walk-up testing sites for COVID-19. Public beaches, parks, marinas, and golf courses were also set to close on Friday as Isaias strengthened to a Category 1 hurricane and forecasters predicted it would reach Category 2.

Broward County Mayor Dale V.C. Holness had on Thursday also announced testing sites would close, with plans to reopen on Wednesday morning.

As of Friday morning the storm was predicted to most impact Florida’s central, eastern region before moving north.

At full capacity Florida had 162 test sites in all but two of the state’s 67 counties. Some counties will continue testing through their individual health departments.

“We have thousands of tests that will not be conducted until we get these test sites up and running again,” Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez said in a virtual news conference on Friday morning.

(Reporting by Nathan Layne in Wilton, Connecticut; Editing by Nick Zieminski and Jonathan Oatis)

Greece to give millions in compensation to flood victims

Greece to give millions in compensation to flood victims

ATHENS (Reuters) – Greece said on Monday it would offer emergency compensation worth millions of euros to hundreds of households affected by flash flooding west of Athens that killed at least 20 people on Nov. 15.

Hundreds of homes and businesses were extensively damaged in the coastal towns of Mandra and Nea Peramos when a torrent of mud and water smashed into the settlements, built along dry gullies on the foothills of a mountain range.

Twenty people died and two remain missing from the early-morning deluge, the worst casualty toll from flooding since 1977 when more than 30 people died.

The disaster has prompted recriminations and finger-pointing over a perceived inability of Greek authorities to act on prior warnings that areas with poor infrastructure and unlicensed construction were vulnerable to flooding. Critics also asked why flood prevention projects had been delayed.

Authorities will offer flood victims up to 5,000 euros ($5,896.50) for households and 8,000 euros for businesses, government spokesman Dimitris Tzanakopoulos said.

It was not immediately clear how much the state had budgeted for compensation. Tzanakopoulos told Reuters the amount would come from the national budget.

That assistance would be over and above compensation residents were entitled to, comprised of 60 percent government aid and 40 percent interest-free loan, he said.

The flash flooding hit many areas of the country, including housing settlements where town planning regulations are often flouted.

(Reporting by Michele Kambas; editing by Mark Heinrich)

Greeks in mourning and disbelief after flood that killed at least 15

Greeks in mourning and disbelief after flood that killed at least 15

MANDRA, Greece (Reuters) – Greeks voiced despair and disbelief on Thursday after a flash flood killed at least 15 people and left hundreds homeless, with many blaming a system that allowed houses to be built on dried up river beds.

In the towns of Nea Peramos and Mandra west of the capital Athens, crumpled cars and mangled furniture lay on roads caked in the thick mud left behind by a raging torrent that smashed through homes on Wednesday morning. [nL8N1NL22V]

“We are ruined. My tavern and my house are gone,” said Paraskevas Stamou, a restaurant owner in Mandra. “Everything is gone, the road is gone, the water is still flowing and we were flooded again last night and this morning.

“We are expecting another downpour tonight. It’s like God hates us,” he told Reuters.

Maria Kriada is comforted outside her destroyed house following flash floods which hit areas west of Athens on November 15 killing at least 15 people, in Nea Peramos, Greece, November 16, 2017. REUTERS/Alkis Konstantinidis

Maria Kriada is comforted outside her destroyed house following flash floods which hit areas west of Athens on November 15 killing at least 15 people, in Nea Peramos, Greece, November 16, 2017. REUTERS/Alkis Konstantinidis

To escape the lethal floodwaters, residents took desperate measures.

“We had nowhere to sleep. We slept on the roof, we found carpets to cover ourselves,” said a man in Mandra whose house was gutted by the flood but remained standing.

Between sobs, his mother added: “Everything went. We don’t have anyone to help us. I don’t have help from anyone.”

Bad weather continued on Thursday. Officials said they were waiting for conditions to improve before giving a clearer picture of the damage. Five people were still missing.

Flags flew half-mast from state buildings and the Acropolis on Thursday as the government declared three days of national mourning.

Newspapers expressed anger. “A Crime,” was the headline in Ta Nea daily, superimposed on a picture of a woman being comforted next to an overturned car. “The Deeds of Man,” wrote the leftist Avgi, referring to unlicensed constructions.

Experts blamed haphazard construction which the natural path for water runoff, and soil erosion on a mountain range hit by fires.

Both towns were built along an old motorway linking Athens to the Peloponnese city of Corinth. As building crept closer to the road, streams that would have drained runoff from the nearby Pateras mountains were blocked.

“Of course the state wasn’t prepared … we cannot compete with nature,” said Christos Zeferos, head of the research center for Atmospheric Physics and Climatology Academy of Athens, adding that climate change meant people should expect more weather-related disasters.

“We should be prepared for more frequent, and different phenomena,” he told Reuters.

Many of the victims were elderly. The youngest was a 36-year old truck driver who called his mother as the floodwaters rose around his lorry. The line went dead soon afterwards.

General aerial view of a flooded area following flash floods in Mandra, West Attica, Greece November 15, 2017 in this still image taken from social media video.     NATIONAL AND KAPODISTRIAN UNIVERSITY OF ATHENS/via REUTERS

General aerial view of a flooded area following flash floods in Mandra, West Attica, Greece November 15, 2017 in this still image taken from social media video. NATIONAL AND KAPODISTRIAN UNIVERSITY OF ATHENS/via REUTERS

(Reporting By Michele Kambas, Renee Maltezou, Alkis Konstantinidis and Lefteris Papadimas; Writing by Michele Kambas; Editing by Robin Pomeroy)

Flash floods kill at least 10 in downpour near Athens

Flash floods kill at least 10 in downpour near Athens

By Vassilis Triandafyllou and Alkis Konstantinidis

MANDRA, Greece (Reuters) – At least 10 people died in flash floods in Greece on Wednesday in the most deadly such incident in recent years when a torrent of red mud swept through towns west of the capital Athens after heavy rain, authorities said.

Torrential rain of this type is uncommon in Greece, where poor infrastructure can leave citizens vulnerable to flooding.

The overnight deluge turned roads in the industrial towns of Nea Peramos and Mandra, about 27 km (17 miles) west of Athens, into fast-flowing rivers and trapped dozens of people in their homes or cars.

Some residents were forced onto rooftops and balconies while cars were thrust onto porches or tipped onto their side. Twelve people were rescued from a bus on a bridge.

“This is a biblical disaster,” Mandra Mayor Yianna Krikouki told state broadcaster ERT. “Everything is gone.”

Heavy vehicles, a bus and cars were stranded under more than a meter of water on a nearby motorway. The force of the water smashed through walls and broke through roads.

In Mandra, five people – two women and three men – were found dead either in their flooded homes or in allotments. Another two were found floating in the sea.

“The walls collapsed, the cars were carried away and they broke everything here. There is nothing left,” resident Marina Kolia said. “Water is everywhere in the house.”

The wall of a local cemetery crumbled and vehicles collided with tree trunks. The fire brigade said at least three people were missing, and an unspecified number of people injured.

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras expressed regret at the loss of life and called for an emergency meeting with ministers.

Greece has had around a week of heavy rain. A state of emergency was declared in the west Attica region, which includes Nea Peramos and Mandra, on Wednesday.

Both towns, which have a combined population of about 20,000 people, lie in the foothills of a mountain in western Attica. Many Greek housing settlements are built without taking into account town planning regulations.

An Athens prosecutor ordered an urgent preliminary investigation into the deaths and destruction caused and was also investigating possible urban planning offences.

On Tuesday, Greece declared a state of emergency on the eastern island of Symi, just off the coast of Turkey, after a storm swept cars into the sea, damaged homes and cut off electricity and water supplies.

(Additional reporting by Karolina Tagaris and Renee Maltezou Editing by Matthew Mpoke Bigg)

One dead as Storm Ophelia batters Ireland

A lighthouse is seen as storm Ophelia approaches South Stack in Anglesey, Wales, Britain, October 16, 2017

By Clodagh Kilcoyne

LAHINCH, Ireland (Reuters) – A woman was killed as Tropical Storm Ophelia battered Ireland’s southern coast on Monday, knocking down trees and power lines and whipping up 10-metre (30-foot) waves.

Over 230,000 homes and businesses were without electricity with more outages expected and almost 150 flights were canceled from Ireland’s two main airports at Dublin and Shannon.

The woman in her 50s was killed by a tree falling on her car in the southeastern county of Waterford, police said. A female passenger in her 70s was injured. Police corrected an earlier report that the victim was in her 20s.

The storm, downgraded from a hurricane overnight, was the worst to hit Ireland in half a century. It made landfall after 10:40 a.m. (0940 GMT), the Irish National Meteorological Service said, with winds as strong as 176 kph (110 mph) hitting the most southerly tip of the country and flooding likely.

“These gusts are life-threatening. Do not be out there,” the chairman of Ireland’s National Emergency Coordination Group, Sean Hogan, said on national broadcaster RTE.

Schools, hospitals and public transport services were closed and the armed forces were sent to bolster flood defences. Photos on social media showed the roof of a stand at Cork City soccer club’s Turner’s Cross stadium had collapsed.

Hurricane Ophelia image captured by NASA is seen in space, October 14, 2017 in this still obtained from social media.

Hurricane Ophelia image captured by NASA is seen in space, October 14, 2017 in this still obtained from social media. NASA SPORT/ via REUTERS

Hurricane force winds are expected in every part of the country, Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said, advising people to stay indoors. The transport minister said it was not safe to drive.

“While the storm in some parts of the country is not yet that bad, it is coming your way,” Varadkar told a news conference.

Britain’s meteorological service put an Amber Weather Warning into effect for Northern Ireland from 1400-2100 GMT, saying the storm posed a danger to life and was likely to cause transport cancellations, power cuts and flying debris.

“Impactful weather” is expected in other western and northern parts of the United Kingdom, it said.

British media are comparing Ophelia to the “Great Storm” of 1987, which subjected parts of the United Kingdom to hurricane strength winds 30 years ago to the day.

The storm is expected to move towards western Scotland overnight.

The Irish government said the storm was likely to be the worst since Hurricane Debbie, which killed 11 in Ireland in 1961.

It is likely to pass close to a west of Ireland golf course owned by U.S. President Donald Trump, who has been planning a wall to protect its greens from coastal erosion.

Similar sized storms in the past have changed the shape of stretches of the Irish coastline, climatologists said.

 

(Additional reporting and writing by Padraic Halpin and Conor Humphries; Editing by Janet Lawrence and Robin Pomeroy)

 

Storm Maria pitches Puerto Rico barrio into sunken ‘Venice’

Storm Maria pitches Puerto Rico barrio into sunken 'Venice'

By Dave Graham and Robin Respaut

CATANO, Puerto Rico (Reuters) – Wading through highways swamped by turbid waters that sloshed over scattered, sunken belongings, residents of this Puerto Rican barrio flooded by Hurricane Maria have begun emerging from their shattered homes.

Lying southwest of the capital San Juan, the Juana Matos neighborhood in Catano municipality took a huge hit from Maria after the storm slammed winds of up to 155 mph (249 kmh) into Puerto Rico early on Wednesday, destroying or damaging an estimated 80 percent of housing in the working-class barrio.

The storm, the second Category 5 hurricane to batter the Caribbean this month, claimed at least 32 lives across the region, including 15 in Puerto Rico, and shut down power and communications across the island of 3.4 million people.

By Thursday, Maria’s floodwaters had turned the heart of the predominantly wood-built Juana Matos barrio into a series of waterways more suited to boats than walking.

“It’s like we’re in Venice,” said 69-year-old steel worker Joaquin Rebollo, looking out across a broad channel that is normally teeming with cars. “It was a really bad experience, really bad. I almost died of fright.”

Pitching the roof off his home and dozens of others in the area, Maria began to work through the wiring around the house as darkness descended across the island.

“It was like (Maria) was chewing the cables,” he said, vividly making as if to bite through power lines with his teeth.

Opposite him, residents trudged up to their knees in waters covering what was the main highway connecting Catano with the municipality of Bayamon further south.

Rebollo and many neighbors left their homes in the hope the flooding that rose to four feet in some areas would recede.

Houses locked for the storm were stripped of roofs or walls. Stranded cars stood half-sunk in driveways and satellite dishes tilted towards the sky to receive signals that had gone.

“I peeked my head out during the storm and felt the wind – and saw the wood, the roof, and the windows in the air,” said Domingo Avilez, 47, who took cover inside a small cement stock room beneath his mother’s house when Maria struck.

By the end, the stock room was the only room left.

Local officials estimate upwards of 2,000 people live in Juana Matos, and many too old or unwilling to evacuate watched from upper floors as the floodwaters turned streets into stagnant canals that seeped through their homes.

“Well, we’re alive,” said 75-year-old grandfather Angel Santos from the debris-strewn second floor of his wooden home.

“These are the works of God, so there’s nothing you can do,” Santos said, reflecting the faith evident among many Puerto Ricans hit by Maria just days after Hurricane Irma left.

Even those on the edge of the flood-prone barrio in homes high enough to avoid shipping huge quantities of water suffered brutal incursions.

Magdalena Oliveras, a 52-year-old housewife, showed the twisted metal blinds of her two-meter high washroom window she said had been mangled by a deluge from a nearby building.

Lidia Espinal, 57, a longtime Juana Matos resident from the Dominican Republic, suffered a double blow on Wednesday morning before phone lines went down with a call from her homeland to say her younger brother had suffered a fatal heart attack.

But Maria’s presence meant she could not travel back.

“I lost everything in my house, the good things, the roof, the windows. The stove is full of water,” she said. “But the death of my brother taught me that we can’t hold on to material things. Because life does not come back.”

A dog stands next to fallen trees and damaged houses after the area was hit by Hurricane Maria in Salinas, Puerto Rico September 21, 2017. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins

A dog stands next to fallen trees and damaged houses after the area was hit by Hurricane Maria in Salinas, Puerto Rico September 21, 2017. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins

(Editing by Michael Perry)

Officials urge patience as Florida towns re-open after Irma

Officials urge patience as Florida towns re-open after Irma

By Andy Sullivan and Robin Respaut

FLORIDA CITY/MARCO ISLAND, Fla. (Reuters) – Florida began allowing some residents to return to their homes hammered by Hurricane Irma on Tuesday, but officials warned that it would take a long time to repair the damage wrought by high winds and pounding surf, particularly in the Keys archipelago.

Irma, which had rampaged through the Caribbean as one of the most powerful Atlantic hurricanes on record, was downgraded to a tropical depression on Monday. It will likely dissipate from Tuesday evening, the National Hurricane Center said.

At its peak it prompted the evacuation of 6.5 million people, the largest evacuation in modern U.S. history.

Local authorities told around 90,000 residents of Miami Beach and from some parts of the Florida Keys they could go home but warned it may be prudent not to remain there.

“This is going to be a frustrating event. It’s going to take some time to let people back into their homes particularly in the Florida Keys,” Brock Long, administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, told a morning press conference.

He noted that FEMA was continuing to rescue people stranded by flooding around Jacksonville, in the state’s northeast.

After leaving a trail of destruction on several Caribbean islands, killing nearly 40 people, Irma caused record flooding in parts of Florida. Only one Florida fatality has been confirmed so far, but a local official said there had been more deaths.

Irma became the second major hurricane to make landfall in the United States in a little more than two weeks when it roared ashore on Key Cudjoe as a powerful Category 4 storm on Sunday. It followed Hurricane Harvey, which plowed into Houston late last month, killing about 60 and wreaking some $180 billion in damage, largely through flooding.

About 2-1/2 months remain in the official Atlantic hurricane season. The National Hurricane Center is monitoring another hurricane, Jose, which is spinning in the Caribbean, currently about 700 miles (1,130 km) from the mainland.

MILITARY AID

The U.S. aircraft carrier Abraham Lincoln has arrived off Florida’s east coast and two amphibious assault ships will arrive on Tuesday to help in the Keys. The military will distribute food and help evacuate 10,000 residents who did not leave before the storm.

Monroe County Commissioner Heather Carruthers said Monday that people had been killed in the Keys, where nearly 80,000 permanent residents live, apart from one already known fatality. She did not have a count on how many.

“We are finding some remains,” she said in an interview with CNN. Video footage of the islands showed homes torn apart by sustained winds of up to 130 mph (210 kph).

Several major airports in Florida that halted passenger operations due to Irma began limited service on Tuesday, including Miami International, one of the busiest U.S. airports.

The scope of damage in Florida and neighboring states paled in comparison with the devastation left by Irma in parts of the Caribbean, where it razed islands and killed nearly 40.

RECORD FLOODS

The center of Irma moved into Alabama on Tuesday and will head into western Tennessee by Tuesday evening with maximum sustained winds of 25 mph.

In South Carolina, the Charleston Harbor area saw major flooding on Monday with water about 3 feet (1 meter) above flood stage and minor flooding is forecast for Tuesday, the National Weather Service said.

Miami Beach will allow residents to return home from 8 a.m. (1200 GMT), its mayor said. More evacuation orders are likely to be lifted on Tuesday.

Monroe County opened road access on Tuesday morning for residents and business owners from Key Largo, the main island at the upper end of the chain, as well as the towns of Tavernier and Islamorada farther to the south, fire officials said.

No timetable was given for reopening the remainder of the Keys.

MOST OF FLORIDA WITHOUT ELECTRICITY

Insured property losses in Florida from Irma are expected to run from $20 billion to $40 billion, catastrophe modeling firm AIR Worldwide estimated.

Utilities reported some 7.4 million homes and businesses were without electricity in Florida and neighboring states and said it could take weeks to fully restore service.

Between 2,000 and 3,000 utility workers from out of state, sent to inspect and repair power lines, were staying in Broward County in cramped conditions at BB&T Center, home to the National Hockey League’s Florida Panthers, said Gus Beyersdorf, 40, of De Pere, Wisconsin.

“Each one of us has a cot, a single foot apart,” Beyersdorf said on Monday afternoon. “I slept in the truck last night just to get a break from it.”

At least one other possibly storm-related fatal car crash was reported on Sunday in Orange County, Florida. On Monday, two people were killed by falling trees in two Atlanta suburbs, according to local authorities.

(Additional reporting by Daniel Trotta in Orlando, Fla., Bernie Woodall, Ben Gruber and Zachary Fagenson in Miami, Dan Whitcomb in Los Angeles, Letitia Stein in Detroit, Jon Herskovitz in Austin, Texas, Colleen Jenkins in Winston-Salem, N.C., Harriet McLeod in Mt. Pleasant, S.C., Scott DiSavino in New York and Marc Frank in Havana; Writing by Scott Malone and Jon Herskovitz; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky and Chizu Nomiyama)

Stranded Texans turn to social media for help as flood waters rise

Women are illuminated by the light of a smart phone as they seek refuge in the Good Samaritan Rescue Mission in Corpus Christi.

By Peter Szekely

(Reuters) – Flood-stranded Texans in the Houston area took to social media on Sunday with desperate pleas to be rescued from their homes as Tropical Storm Harvey and its torrential rains slowly lumbered across the region.

With authorities urging Houston’s more than 2 million residents to stay in their homes rather than risk venturing outside, some 70,000 of them formed a Facebook group that many of them used to call for help.

“Rescue needed!!” Lorena Martinez posted on the group, known “Hurricane Harvey 2017 – Together We Will Make It; TOGETHER WE WILL REBUILD.”

Martinez said 20 people, including six children, an elderly person and a pregnant woman, were stranded in a house on Houston’s Roper Street.

“Tried emergency service but not responding,” she said. “They’re in the attic with ax on hand if necessary.”

Many Houston residents reported being holed up in their attics, some with axes to chop their way out if necessary, even though emergency services advised people to climb onto the roofs to escape rising waters.

“Anyone in the area that can help… 4 adults 4 kids stuck in the attic.. no tools to break/cut into the roof,” said Carolyn Withrow Hutchins, who also posted a map with the location.

Emergency crews had rescued more than 1,000 stranded people from cars and homes in the Houston area by early Sunday.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott said the state was adding helicopters to those operated by officials in Houston and Harris County to help rescue stranded residents.

“Before today, the state had already made multiple water rescues from helicopters from dropped lines, and we are prepared to continue that process,” Abbott said on CNN’s “State of the Union” program.

Many residents posted that they were unable to reach emergency services by phone or were told that their rescues would take several hours.

Kathaleen Hervey was among many who turned to Twitter for help, saying a resident she knew needed to be rescued.

“He is trapped and can’t get through 911 or any of the emergency numbers, send a boat!!!” she tweeted to Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner.

Turner said emergency responders were giving their highest priority to the most flood-ravaged areas.

“911 is working,” Turner tweeted. “Every need is important. Please give preference to life-threatening situations.”

 

(Reporting by Peter Szekely in New York; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)

 

Flooding threatens U.S. Mid-Atlantic, central Appalachians

(Reuters) – Heavy rains will drench the U.S. Mid-Atlantic and central Appalachians on Saturday after flooding overnight closed roadways and forced water rescues across the region, forecasters said.

A swathe of land from eastern North Carolina up through Washington D.C. and southern Pennsylvania could expect an additional 2 to 5 inches (5 to 13 cm) on Saturday after more than 4 inches (10 cm) fell in parts of the region, the National Weather Service said in advisories.

“Flash flooding from heavy rain will cause a potentially life threatening situation overnight,” the National Weather Service said early on Saturday morning in flash flood warnings and watches it issued for the region.

Numerous people were rescued from vehicles stuck in flooded roadways across the region in southwestern Pennsylvania including Pittsburgh and in the Washington D.C. metro area on Friday night, according to Accuweather.com.

The storm system will bring gusty winds of up to 45 mph (70 kph) to the region, causing rough surf, beach erosion and strong rip current, Accuweather said in its forecast.

(Reporting by Brendan O’Brien in Milwaukee Editing by Jeremy Gaunt.)