Rising rivers threaten to flood Northeast towns following powerful winter storms

(NEW YORK) — Severe weather across the U.S. has left at least five people dead and is causing rivers to rise to dangerous levels as more winter storms move in.

Hundreds of thousands of customers are without power across the U.S. Wednesday, with New York and Pennsylvania hit the hardest.

While the rain in the Northeast has stopped for now, it could still cause rivers to rise over their banks in the next two days.

The Raritan River crested Wednesday in Piscataway Township, New Jersey, and local police urged residents to move cars near the river to higher ground.

In Norwich, Connecticut, dam conditions prompted officials to issue a mandatory evacuation order on Wednesday for areas along the Yantic River.

“Residents evacuating from Yantic are advised that they may be displaced from their residences and businesses for several days,” Norwich Public Utilities warned.

The Pawtuxet River in Rhode Island and the Pompton and Passaic rivers in New Jersey could also go to into major flooding stages.

On Tuesday, the storms caused at least five fatalities across the U.S.

In Wisconsin, one person was killed in a car crash due to poor road conditions amid snowfall, the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office said.

Another car crash killed a 35-year-old woman in Webber Township, Michigan, according to the Lake County Sheriff’s Office.

In Cottonwood, Alabama, an 81-year-old woman was killed when a possible tornado blew her mobile home over multiple times while she was inside, according to the Houston County medical examiner and coroner.

Another person was killed when severe weather damaged multiple residences at a mobile home park in Claremont, North Carolina, and the National Weather Service is evaluating where a tornado occurred in the area, according to the Catawba County Government.

In Jonesboro, Georgia, a tree fell on the windshield of a car, killing the driver, according to the Clayton County Police Department.

This week at least 23 tornadoes have been reported across Texas, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, South Carolina and North Carolina.

The same system brought up to 15 inches of snow to the Midwest and winds as high as 65 mph to the Northeast.

More than 3 inches of heavy rain fell on top of melting snow in the Northeast, crippling travel as floodwaters spilled into roadways.

Now, another winter storm is heading from the West Coast to the East Coast.

The storm already dumped up to 30 inches of snow and brought rare blizzard conditions to the Pacific Northwest over the last 24 hours.

On Wednesday, the heavy snow is falling in the Sierra Nevada mountain range and will move through the Rockies on Thursday.

This storm will bring another severe weather outbreak to the South from Thursday night through Friday. Damaging winds, large hail, flash flooding and tornadoes are possible from Texas to Florida to the Carolinas.

In the north, snow will stretch from Iowa to Missouri to Michigan to Chicago on Friday and Saturday, with more than 1 foot of snow possible in some spots.

The storm will reach the Northeast late Friday night into Saturday morning. More heavy rain, gusty winds and flooding are expected.

ABC News’ Victoria Arancio contributed to this report.

Copyright © 2024, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.