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Hundreds flee New England floods

Hundreds of people remain evacuated from their homes Monday as flooding continues in New England.

BY HEATHER MOYER | CONCORD, N.H. | May 14, 2006

Hundreds of people remain evacuated from their homes Monday as flooding continues in New England.

Families were evacuated from their homes Sunday in Milton, N.H., near the dam on Milton Pond because of concerns about the dam's structure. If the dam breaks, it could send a 10-foot wall of water downstream, according to reports from the National Weather Service (NWS).

Residents near Wakefield, N.H., were also evacuated due to concerns about two nearby dams. In Massachusetts, some 300 people were evacuated from an apartment complex for seniors. About 150 additional residents in Melrose, Mass., had to leave their homes after sewage lines backed up into their houses.

The governors of both New Hampshire and Massachusetts declared states of emergency Sunday. National Guard troops have been called in to help with road closures and sand-bagging efforts. York County, Maine, is also under a state of emergency. Many residents near the Mousam River there had to evacuate because of quick-rising water.

In Peabody, Mass., residents are canoeing through flooded downtown streets. Many northern Mass. schools were closed Monday because of the flooding.

The region has been deluged with steady rain since late last week and the bad weather is expected to continue all week, with weather forecasters predicting more than a foot of rain for some areas by the time the storm leaves the region.

Emergency officials in New Hampshire say more than 600 roads have washed out and basements are flooded as more than seven inches of rain had fallen since Saturday. The NWS issued flood warnings for much of eastern New England, saying northeastern Mass. is at risk for record river flooding.

Major flooding is predicted along the Spicket River near Methuen, Mass., and all along the Merrimack Riverand its tributaries as it moves south through New Hampshire and then across Mass. toward the ocean.

Streams and rivers in Connecticut and Vermont are also swelling beyond their banks.


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