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NJ sees repeat flooding

Parts of New Jersey are now coping with flooding - the third flood in as many years.

BY HEATHER MOYER | PHILLIPSBURG, N.J. | June 29, 2006

Parts of New Jersey are now coping with flooding from this week's heavy rains - the third flood in two years for the region's residents.

National Weather Service (NWS) forecasters are predicting more rain and thunderstorms for the area Thursday afternoon, which would only add to the flood woes. Some of the thunderstorms are expected to be severe and drop as much as two inches of rain, prompting the NWS to warn residents of quick-rising streams and flash floods for the afternoon.

On Wednesday, thousands fled their homes as rising water inundated cities and neighborhoods. Many residents are now experiencing the third flood in two years. The remnants of Hurricane Ivan deluged the state in the fall of 2004, and then heavy rains again flooded the region in the spring of 2005.

In Phillipsburg, the flooded Delaware River shut down roads and entire neighborhoods. The situation is similar for many of the communities all along the Delaware River in both Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

The Delaware River is expected to crest on Thursday, some 14 feet over flood stage. New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine surveyed the flooded regions by helicopter Thursday but said it's too early to estimate how much damage has been done.

Residents in Stockton, Mercer County and Trenton are all coping with the Delaware River's high water as well. Many residents there fled the high water closing in on their homes. Many workers in Trenton were sent home due to the high water.

State officials say the extent of the damage is not yet known and just because the river is expected to crest does not mean the worst is over for now.

Wednesday night storms knocked down trees and power lines around Salem, Gloucester and Camden counties.

Much of the western part of the state remained under either a flood warning or a flood watch. Southwestern New Jersey is under coastal flood watches due to high tides.

The NWS reports that parts of New Jersey received between five and nine inches of rain in only five days. The Delaware River's flood stages are also contributed to by the large amount of rain received upstream in New York.

The entire state remains under a state of emergency. Other rivers at risk of flooding include the Ramapo and the Passaic.


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