Obama declares 'emergency' in flooded New York

US President Barack Obama has declared a state of emergency in New York State after areas in the northeast were flooded by rain from the tropical storm Lee, killing at least nine people.

The declaration paves the way for quick delivery of federal aid to the rain-ravaged counties of Albany, Broome, Chenango, Chemung, Delaware, Greene, Herkimer, Montgomery, Oneida, Otsego, Rensselaer, Schenectady, Schoharie, Sullivan, and Tioga.

The Department of Homeland Security would coordinate all disaster relief efforts "to save lives and to protect property and public health and safety, and to lessen or avert the threat of a catastrophe" in the counties.

The White House said in a statement, "Federal Emergency Management Agency is authorised to identify, mobilise, and provide at its discretion, equipment and resources necessary to alleviate the impacts of the emergency...Protective measures, including direct federal assistance, will be provided at 75 per cent federal funding."

At least 9 people have died and about 100,000 were ordered to evacuate as flood waters resulting from the storm Lee wrecked havoc in the region just days after Hurricane Irene battered most of the US northeast.

The National Weather Service (NWS) issued a flash flood warning for counties in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Maryland and Virginia.

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