July 24 (Reuters) - Heavy rains pummeled parts of the U.S. Southwest and mid-Atlantic early on Tuesday, swelling floods that have forced evacuations, disrupted air travel and cut power.
Downpours were expected to continue for several more days in southeastern Colorado and northern New Mexico along with the region from southern New York to northern South Carolina, the National Weather Service said.
Flood waters rushed through the streets in Santa Fe, New Mexico late on Monday, destroying homes and businesses and trapping motorists in vehicles as more than 3 inches (8 cm) of rain fell, the Albuquerque Journal newspaper reported. “We’re seeing flash floods all over town!” Mayor Alan Webber tweeted on Monday night. An evacuation shelter had opened for displaced residents, he said. “In the morning we’ll launch an all-hands effort to clear roads, repair damage, and clean up from floods.” Rescue crews used small boats to save people trapped in flooded vehicles across Pennsylvania, local media reported.
About 13,000 homes and businesses were without power in Maryland and Pennsylvania early on Tuesday, Poweroutages.us reported.
Areas in the East were soaked with up to 7 inches over the weekend and several more inches throughout the day on Monday.
Airports along the East Coast experienced delays of up to two and a half hours due to thunderstorms on Monday, including hubs in New York, Philadelphia and Washington DC, according to the Federal Aviation Administration. (Reporting by Brendan O’Brien in Milwaukee Editing by Andrew Heavens)