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Friday
Sep092011

Northeast Flooding: Five Dead as 100,000 Evacuate

Tetra Images/Thinkstock(WILKES-BARRE, Pa.) -- Pennsylvania's Susquehanna River has crested and over 100,000 residents have been evacuated as remnants of Tropical Storm Lee have created flood zones in the already water-logged region.

A persistent area of low pressure associated with Lee's remnants will remain over the area throughout the weekend, according to the National Weather Service.  It is expected that the area will see an additional four to seven inches of rainfall in the coming days.

Of the five deaths that have been attributed to the flooding, one was a child who was caught in a storm drain by the rushing waters.  The 8-year-old Pennsylvania boy was swept underwater into a storm drain that was approximately one foot in diameter, police said.

The city of Wilkes-Barre, Pa., issued a mandatory evacuation order for 8 p.m. Thursday which was moved to 4 p.m. as the Susquehanna River rapidly swelled.

Wilkes-Barre Mayor Tom Leighton asked residents to "be vigilant" and warned they should prepare themselves for an extended evacuation of a minimum 72 hours.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency said Thursday that an emergency exists in Pennsylvania and ordered federal aid to supplement state and local response efforts due to the emergency conditions.

About 1,200 National Guardsmen have been deployed across the state, according to the Philadelphia Enquirer, with approximately one-third headed for the Wilkes-Barre area -- which is cradled in the center of the Wyoming Valley region, with the Pocono Mountains to the east, the Endless Mountains to the west and the Lehigh Valley to the south.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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