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Rain continues in flooded Northeast


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Rain continues in flooded Northeast


Thursday, October 13, 2005; Posted: 1:06 p.m. EDT (17:06 GMT)




NEWARK, New Jersey (AP) -- Steady rain continued across much of New England and the Northeast early Thursday, and forecasters expected more wet weather in the already-saturated region.


Flood warnings covered parts of Connecticut, New York and New Jersey. Residents of at least three New Jersey communities were being evacuated by early Thursday, though some were allowed back home as the morning went on.


In New Hampshire, three people were confirmed dead in floodwaters, and four others remained missing. Federal teams have begun assessing flood damage, a spokeswoman for Gov. John Lynch said. "We're talking I believe tens of millions of dollars, clearly."


The National Weather Service canceled a flood watch for that state but said the already saturated area could see 3 to 6 inches of rain in the next few days.


In some southwestern New Hampshire towns, officials went door-to-door to give residents instructions in case they need to get out quickly.


Alstead, a town of 2,000 people near the Vermont state line, suffered the most damage from the weekend flooding. At least 12 homes were washed away.


Republican Sen. Judd Gregg, who toured flood-damaged areas Wednesday, said the state hoped to get $5 million soon for such items as emergency housing, debris removal and restoration of communications, with more federal aid to follow.


In Greenwich, Connecticut, officials declared a local state of emergency Wednesday night as water behind dams on the Byram River rose to high levels, said First Selectman James Lash. Residents were warned to get prepared to leave, but the water then receded and evacuations were not necessary, Lash said.


In New York City, the storm dropped 4.2 inches of rain in Central Park on Wednesday, breaking the date's previous record of 3.4 inches, set in 1983.


Thirty-five flights were canceled at LaGuardia Airport because of the steady downpour, said Alan Hicks, a spokesman for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.


Flooding was expected to worsen in New Jersey, where heavy rain also snarled traffic and delayed flights.


"Everything is so saturated that the water has no place to go," said Roy Miller, a meteorologist with the weather service's Mount Holly office.


Residents of the northern New Jersey towns of Lodi, Westwood and Bound Brook were evacuated from their homes due to rising waters, but the 30 or so in Westwood were allowed to return Thursday morning when an overflowing stream receded. It was not clear how many people overall were affected.


Business districts in Hackensack and Princeton also saw flooding, while high water in Jersey City caused delays approaching the Holland Tunnel.


In New Hampshire, logs were pulled away from two dams to reduce water levels, said James Gallagher, chief water resources engineer for the state dam bureau.



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