Dairy products fuel the region's economy and the losses are already adding up.
Although rainfall has slowed, days of wet weather have meant drastic measures from road closings to floodgate openings to prevent the reservoirs from overflowing.
CBS News Correspondent Elizabeth Kaledin reports the last week of 1998 has been marked by wild weather meteorologists are blaming on the system known as La Nina -- colder than normal temperatures in the Pacific Ocean.
In Virginia that meant an ice storm that has many still without power. And in San Francisco, the result was fog so thick the airport suffered a third day of backups and delays. Luggage got so mixed up passengers were forced to hunt for their own bags!
And while the Northwest gets soaked, the northeast is drying up. In Pennsylvania and New Jersey reservoirs are at dangerously low levels. Some communities have already declared drought emergencies.
In New York, the reservoirs that feed the city's entire drinking water system are only 52 percent full. Forecasters say unless 7 to 9 inches of rain fall drought will be imminent.
But the weather pattern is not expected to change significantly, meaning a future of weather extremes, with flooding on one coast and drought on another well into the New Year.
Reported by Elizabeth Kaledin
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