POMPTON LAKES, N.J. —Residents in the Northeast and parts of the Midwest nervously watched rising waterways Thursday as heavy rain swelled creeks and rivers, damaged houses, detoured commuters and forced amusement park workers to pack up equipment.
In Pompton Lakes, N.J., a pelting rain fell on Liri Zekirovski and a friend as they removed water-damaged furniture and flooring from Zekirovski's father-in-law's house next to the Pompton River.
It was the second time the area had been waterlogged in less than a week. In a small playground across the street, remnants of Sunday night's flooding could be seen in a bicycle rack that was nearly covered in mud.
"It's getting ridiculous. It's like every time it rains this is going to happen," Zekirovski said as he pointed to a water line on the front of the house about 2 1/2 feet high. "It seems like we're putting in a new kitchen every six months. It might be better just to eat outside."
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Flood watches were in effect across much of New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio and New York.
The National Weather Service issued a flood warning for the Delaware River from north of Philadelphia through southern New Jersey, where moderate coastal flooding was predicted. The weather service said minor flooding on the Schuylkill River was also likely.
The Mid-Atlantic was also gearing up for rain-related problems. More than 2 inches of rain in parts of western Maryland pushed streams over their banks and prompted road closures, while a mudslide closed one lane of a heavily traveled commuter road in Washington on Thursday morning.
In Cincinnati, the rising Ohio River forced employees at Coney Island Amusement Park to move equipment such as ride motors and controllers to higher, dryer ground. The flooding closed roads, a public school, the River Downs horse racing track and waterfront restaurants across the state line in northern Kentucky.
The National Weather Service said the Ohio River was expected to crest at more than 4 feet above flood stage this weekend.
Rainfall amounts of 3 inches or more were forecast for portions of northern New Jersey. The National Weather Service predicted major flooding this weekend along the Pompton River at Pompton Plains and along the Passaic River at Little Falls and Pine Brook.