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Floods and heat: Extreme weather hits America

Floods and heat: Extreme weather hits America

People are urged not to underestimate the near-endless water, even in the flood-prone U.S. Northeast. The current flash floods, caused by heavy rain since the weekend, are unprecedented. Streets were flooded and rivers overflowed.

A woman who was beaten in front of her future husband died. New York Gov. Cathy Hochul said at a news conference that “she saw it literally being torn apart. The rain created ‘life-threatening flash flood conditions’.”

Flooding in the US state of Vermont

Heavy rains have caused severe flooding in the northeastern part of the United States. The state of Vermont has been particularly hard hit.

Worst floods since 2011

A large number of severed people from about a dozen camps in Andover were brought to safety in boats. “A bridge was washed out and that was the only way in or out,” said Officer Jeanette Hyde. About 50 people were rescued last night by boat – the only way out, often flooded.

Reuters/Maggie Lenz

Montpelier, the capital of Vermont, is submerged

Officials in Vermont talked about the worst flooding since Hurricane Irene in 2011. “This is a hands-on event for everyone,” said Vermont Governor Bill Scott. An emergency was declared in the state to get the necessary funds quickly. Like New York State, up to 20 centimeters of rain fell here.

A destroyed road in Highland Falls, NY

AP/Ted Shaffrey

Swept away bridges make life difficult for rescue workers

Warning to affected persons

The worst isn’t over Tuesday, the National Weather Service (NWS) forecast. Montpellier, Vermont’s capital, is particularly likely to be affected by more rain. “We want people to be very aware, watch the weather and not wait too long,” said Mark Bosma, a spokesman for the local civil defense agency.

Traffic was also severely affected. More than 1,000 flights to and from airports in the region, including New York’s LaGuardia Airport and Boston’s Logan Airport, were delayed or canceled altogether. Rail operator Amtrak halted passenger train service in New York after the tracks were damaged. At least five inter-county highways have been closed due to flooding. Private meteorologist AccuWeather estimated the damage at three to five billion US dollars.

The heat will come to stay in the south

In South America, people are currently being asked not to go out if possible. However, here one prepares for another extreme weather. A severe heat wave develops from California in the southwest through Texas to Florida in the southeast, affecting more than 50 million people. According to the NWS, a heat dome has formed over the past few days: In this phenomenon, heat is trapped under a dome and cannot escape.

Parts of California, Arizona, Nevada and New Mexico can expect temperatures above 37 degrees, while parts of Los Angeles County could see temperatures up to 44 degrees. The NWS warned that the heat wave is the “most deadly weather event” in the United States. Little or no cooling can be expected at night.

Diagram of a heat dome formation

Washington Post/ORF

Apart from high temperatures, above all the duration of the heat wave worries experts: in Phoenix, the capital of the state of Arizona, it has already been above 43 degrees for ten days. A heat warning is also in effect for the Miami area in southern Florida until Wednesday.

In the summer of 2021, a heat dome brought an unprecedented heat wave to Canada and the western United States. A study by the research group World Weather Attributes (WWA) found that without human-caused climate change this would be “virtually impossible”.

Although individual extreme events cannot be directly traced to a specific cause, scientific evidence makes it clear that extreme weather events such as floods, storms and heat waves are becoming more frequent and intense as a result of the climate crisis. This means: rainfall and storms are getting heavier, heat waves are getting hotter and droughts are getting drier.

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