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Floods causing chaos across Northeast


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Floods causing chaos across Northeast

A week of rain swamps highways, delays flights


Thursday, October 13, 2005; Posted: 4:29 p.m. EDT (20:29 GMT)



TRENTON, New Jersey (AP) -- A seventh straight day of rain across much of the soggy Northeast trapped motorists in their cars, delayed airline flights and sent streams surging over their banks Thursday.


Flood warnings covered parts of Connecticut, New York and New Jersey, and residents in some New Jersey communities were urged to evacuate their homes.


Northern New Jersey received as much as 41/2 inches of rain in 48 hours, and forecasters said some areas of the state could get 2 inches more by Friday. A deluge over the weekend dumped about 5 inches across the state and as much as 10 in a few spots.


The rain was expected to continue through Saturday.


Across the Northeast, at least 10 people have died since last weekend because of the downpours, and four others were missing in New Hampshire.


"We're just bracing for the next storm," said Bergen County Executive Dennis McNerney. "But we're not building an ark just yet."


In New York City's Central Park, close to an inch of rain had fallen by midmorning Thursday, on top of 4.26 inches on Wednesday.


Water covered dozens of highways and roads around the region, including part of the Garden State Parkway, and police rescued people from a vehicle that had stalled in floodwaters in Jersey City.


Incoming flights at two of the region's three major airports were delayed by more than an hour and a half.


In Connecticut, thousands of homes and businesses lost power, including the University of Bridgeport, which canceled classes Thursday. The downpours came after a dry spell across much of the region.


"We literally had a drought meeting the day before. I highly suspect when we get together next week, the drought for the time being is over," said Douglas Glowacki, an environmental analyst with the state of Connecticut.


New Jersey activated its emergency management office, getting high-water rescue vehicles and swift-boat rescue teams ready.


The rain-swollen Raritan River was being closely watched in Bound Brook and Manville, where flooding from Tropical Storm Floyd in 1999 proved devastating.


Alstead, N.H., a town of 2,000, suffered the most damage from last weekend's flooding. At least 12 homes were washed away and dozens more were damaged heavily.



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