More rain soaks Northeast

Another six inches of rain could inundate parts of flooded New England and the mid-Atlantic in the next few days, forecasters said Thursday.

BY SUSAN KIM | BALTIMORE | October 13, 2005


Another six inches of rain could inundate parts of flooded New England and the mid-Atlantic in the next few days, forecasters said Thursday.

Steady rain in New Hampshire was burdening flood recovery for many. In that hard-hit state, three people were confirmed dead in floodwaters and four others remained missing.

Alstead, a town of 2,000 people just across the Vermont state line, suffered the most damage from the weekend flooding. At least a dozen homes washed completely away. First responders have had trouble communicating because the police station was filled to the ceiling with water, destroying emergency generators and two-way radios, according to Alstead Police Chief Christopher Lyon.

Emergency housing was one of the priority needs in the state, reported state officials, indicating residential damage tallies would grow.

Local churches - including the Third Congregational United Church of Christ in Alstead - were providing meals and shelter for flood survivors. Salvation Army crews reported they have been providing meals to more than 200 people each day, and they expect those numbers to grow as stranded residents are able to access roads.

In Alstead alone, a state police dispatcher estimated 50 homes had been destroyed. Many residents there reported four feet of water on their first floor. A local businessperson in Alstead said she believed most of the people who lost all or part of their homes didn't have any insurance because they lived in a flood zone and couldn't afford flood insurance.

One-third of downtown Keene was also underwater Sunday. The American Red Cross has two disaster assistance centers in Keene, and additional centers in Alstead.

Long-term recovery in New Hampshire could be even more difficult since people will face soaring heat costs in addition to the financial strain of recovery.

In New Jersey, a sixth straight day of rain was causing flood damage in riverside towns. Residents of Westwood in Bergen County and Bound Brook in Somerset County were evacuated as rivers and creeks spilled over their banks. Businesses in Hackensack and Princeton were facing flooding, and damage was expected to worsen in that state as well.


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