Advertisement
Weather

Officials rescue dozens of rafters on flooded river in Pennsylvania

WATCH: Car rescues, flooded roads as rains hammer Pennsylvania

Water rescue crews in Pennsylvania pulled at least 30 people out of a flooded river after an empty raft was discovered on the Lehigh River on Monday evening during heavy rains in the region.

The empty raft was found near Leighton, Penn., which is about an hour north of Philadelphia.

The Allentown Morning Call reports that the empty raft led authorities to believe one person was missing, but a rafting company then said they were looking for nearly 150 people.

Rescue boats were searching the river for signs of rafters in distress. The Morning Call reports that there were thunderstorms and heavy currents throughout the area.

READ MORE: Kerala rains: 26 dead, thousands evacuated amid India flooding

“They said 200 rafters had gone out and only 55 had returned,” a Carbon County dispatcher told the Morning Call.“We’re trying to account for 150. So it’s a big thing happening… We’re trying to account for everybody.”

Story continues below advertisement

By the end of the night, officials said they were confident everyone was accounted for.

69 News reported that it “appears rafters got off the river at various locations along the route due to the severity of the weather and dangerous river conditions,” which made it hard to account for everyone.

Leighton Fire Chief Pat Mriss told The Times News that about 46 people were pulled out of the river, and one was transported to hospital with minor injuries.

WATCH: Widespread flooding, power outages in Toronto after heavy downpour

Widespread flooding, power outages in Toronto after heavy downpour
Widespread flooding, power outages in Toronto after heavy downpour

There was also widespread flooding throughout the state.

National Weather Service meteorologist Aaron Tyburski said the latest downpours followed weeks of a stalled weather pattern that is drawing moisture from the Atlantic Ocean, hitting some communities repeatedly.

“It’s been quite a rough go for them over the past three weeks,” Tyburski said.

Hazel Coles said water rose so quickly at her home in Darby, outside Philadelphia, that she had to evacuate through a window. She said there was about three feet of water on her street, and some people had to be evacuated by boat. She said the Red Cross was helping displaced residents.

Story continues below advertisement
First responders step into floodwaters from a home in Darby, Pa., Monday, August 13. Authorities said heavy rains caused flooding and prompted road closures and rescues of people from stranded cars in central and southeastern Pennsylvania. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
First responders step into floodwaters from a home in Darby, Pa., Monday, August 13. Authorities said heavy rains caused flooding and prompted road closures and rescues of people from stranded cars in central and southeastern Pennsylvania. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
The Ryan Township dive team uses a boat to transport a person for medical problems along Pike Street in Port Carbon, Pa., on Monday, August 13. Overnight rains triggered flash flooding in parts of central and eastern Pennsylvania on Monday, closing down a heavily travelled interstate and sending water into homes in the mountainous coal regions. (David McKeown/Republican-Herald via AP)
The Ryan Township dive team uses a boat to transport a person for medical problems along Pike Street in Port Carbon, Pa., on Monday, August 13. Overnight rains triggered flash flooding in parts of central and eastern Pennsylvania on Monday, closing down a heavily travelled interstate and sending water into homes in the mountainous coal regions. (David McKeown/Republican-Herald via AP)
People sit on the front porch in Benton, Pa., Monday, August 13, as floodwater fill the street and flows around the home. Heavy rains triggered flash flooding in parts of central and eastern Pennsylvania on Monday, closing down a heavily travelled interstate and sending water into homes in the mountainous coal regions. (Jimmy May/Bloomsburg Press Enterprise via AP)
People sit on the front porch in Benton, Pa., Monday, August 13, as floodwater fill the street and flows around the home. Heavy rains triggered flash flooding in parts of central and eastern Pennsylvania on Monday, closing down a heavily travelled interstate and sending water into homes in the mountainous coal regions. (Jimmy May/Bloomsburg Press Enterprise via AP)

“It’s just crazy,” she said. “I thank God it wasn’t worse.”

The National Weather Service in State College said there were numerous reports of six inches of rain or more in neighbouring areas.

The forecast calls for storms to continue and cause flooding in the southcentral, northcentral and eastern parts of the state through Wednesday.

*with files from the Associated Press

Global News Redesign Global News Redesign
A fresh new look for Global News is here, tell us what you think
Take a Survey

Sponsored Stories