LEVITTOWN, N.Y. – Flooding posed a threat around the Northeast on Friday after a pounding storm submerged cars, cut power to thousands and forced scattered evacuations as it crept up the East Coast.

The rain had largely subsided in hard-hit Pennsylvania, New York and New England by Friday evening. But flood warnings and watches remained in effect in areas that were drenched with more precipitation than they usually get in months — up to 6 inches in mere hours in some places.

The storm was blamed for five deaths in North Carolina on Thursday and a sixth in Pennsylvania on Friday — a woman who apparently drove her car into a rain-swollen creek before daybreak.

A great swath of the Northeast was soaked by the morning commute, including New York City and Philadelphia. Flights coming into LaGuardia Airport in New York City were delayed three hours, and traffic into Manhattan was delayed up to an hour.

Firefighters in the Philadelphia area used a ladder truck to pull residents through the upper-floor windows of a building.

Rainfall in the Philadelphia area topped 10 inches. Parts of upstate New York had unofficial totals of more than 6 inches, and New York City’s Central Park recorded 3.08 inches.

“My drive to work was a nightmare today,” said Paul Schatz, a paralegal on New York’s Long Island.

“On the way, I saw a huge flood and two cars in the flood. All I could see of the two cars were the roofs.”

More than 50,000 power outages were reported in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey and the New York City suburbs during the brunt of the storm Friday morning, but many customers had power restored by afternoon as the deluge reduced to a drizzle.

Several roads in Vermont were closed or restricted after upwards of 5½ inches of rain drenched parts of the state and sent rivers and streams overflowing their banks. In Montpelier, nonessential state workers were sent home Friday after the Winooski River threatened state parking lots.

The National Weather Service extended a flood watch for Vermont to late Friday, and the Red Cross opened a shelter in Rutland.

In New Jersey, some rivers were slightly above flood stage. The weather service said they would fall below flood level by Friday night.

The flooding might have been worse if not for a previous dry spell across much of the Northeast, said New Jersey state climatologist Dave Robinson.

Tom Hawley from the weather service said rainfall totals in Maine are going to be much smaller than the 2 to 4 inches originally forecast. He said it will be closer to 1 to 1½ inches.

In southeastern Pennsylvania, investigators believe the crash victim may have veered off the road in Collegeville because floodwaters obscured her view of its edge, said Trooper John Dorazio. The area is isolated and dark, he said, and the woman may have simply come upon water she didn’t know was there.

The storm hit the Berkshires in western Massachusetts hard Friday morning but without the high winds that could have stripped trees of leaves during fall foliage season, said Lauri Klefos, the president of the Berkshire Visitors Bureau in Adams.

“We have all kinds of festivals and outdoor activities in the region this weekend, so if it had to happen, I am happy it happened on a Thursday and Friday,” she said.

The massive rainstorm drove up the Eastern Seaboard from the Carolinas to Maine on Thursday, the worst of it falling in North Carolina, where Jacksonville took on 12 inches in six hours — nearly a quarter of its typical annual rainfall.

Four people, including two children, were killed when their SUV skidded off a highway about 145 miles east of Raleigh and plunged into a water-filled ditch, state police said.

A fifth victim likely drowned when his pickup veered off the road and into a river that was raging because of the rain.