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Rain increases flood woes

Weekend rains added to the flooding trouble along the East Coast and into New England.

BY HEATHER MOYER | BALTIMORE | October 17, 2005

Weekend rains added to the flooding trouble along the East Coast and into New England.

As of Saturday, many areas were receiving their ninth straight day of rain. Parts of New Jersey received up to a foot of rain in the week leading up to Saturday night, said a spokesperson for the New Jersey Office of Emergency Management (NJOEM).

"We're conducting preliminary damage assessments today," said Captain Al DellaFave of NJOEM. Counties affected by flooding include Monmouth, Ocean, Bergen, Essex and Passaic.

"All had multiple homes damaged and citizens evacuated at one point," added DellaFave. Fairfield, Lumberton, Oakland, Lincoln Park, Wayne Township and Sea Girt all declared states of emergency.

"Coastal flooding was the biggest problem, but rivers like the Passaic, the Ramapo, and the Saddle all caused problems, too."

In New Hampshire, an additional four inches of rain fell on the already soaked southwestern part of the state. Residents in a Keene trailer park were evacuated for the third time in one week. Significant rainfall all through last week washed out many roads and severely damaged homes in Alstead, Hinsdale and Marlow.

For residents of Massachusetts, the flooding over the past week was more widespread than many had seen in years. "This event was pretty extensive," said Peter Judge, public information officer for the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency.

"This may have been the largest flooding event - in terms of area - that people can remember. Usually our flooding events are regionalized, but we're looking at damage from the Berkshires all the way to Plymouth County. Fortunately it at least wasn't every community's worst flood event."

Judge said damage assessments teams were out late last week but will have to return to some of the same areas due to the heavy weekend rain. From central to southeastern Massachusetts, rainfall totals ranged from two to seven inches on Saturday alone.

Hard hit communities include parts of Worcester and Brockton, but Judge said many smaller riverside communities across the state were heavily impacted, too.

Heavy rain also drenched parts of southern New York and Connecticut, with more than seven inches of rain falling in Long Island and eastern Connecticut.


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