World Bulletin/News Desk
Rising temperatures and rainfall after nearly a year's worth of snow have increased threats of flooding in northeast U.S., with significant snowmelt expected to continue through Tuesday.
New York State authorities warn rain may collapse some buildings in hard-hit areas because of added weight and strain on roofs.
A historic snowstorm that battered upstate New York since Monday has been blamed for the death of at least 13 people in the area.
However, with snow subsiding and temperatures well above freezing point, counties of Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, Genesee and Wyoming are now under official flood warning.
"There’s a potential for significant flooding," New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo said Saturday.
Cuomo made the remarks at a press conference in an emergency response headquarters near Buffalo, a city estimated to have received about 84 inches of snow until Saturday. The average annual snowfall in the city was 94 inches.
"We have mobilized resources from across the State, including more than 500 National Guard members, hundreds of pumps and hundreds of thousands of sandbags,” he said.
The National Weather Service has set up a flood watch in effect from Sunday afternoon through Wednesday morning for areas under warning. It forecasts that temperatures will be around 50ºF (10ºC) Sunday and 60ºF (15.5ºC) Monday.
A brutal blast of Arctic air triggered a lake-effect storm and snow in the states of New York, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania.
The country awoke Tuesday to its coldest November morning since 1976 along with more than 50 percent of the continental U.S. covered with snow.
It was the greatest covered area in the U.S. this early in the season since 2003, when countrywide snow cover records began.
On the same day in 2013, only 12 percent of the country had snow.
Güncelleme Tarihi: 23 Kasım 2014, 16:57