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Nor'easter batters Eastern Seaboard

West Virginia and Southern Jersey appear hardest hit

BY JIM SKILLINGTON | BALTIMORE | March 14, 2010

Another nor'easter battered the East Coast Saturday and Sunday with high winds and heavy rain, knocking out power to hundreds of thousands and flooding dozens of communities.

At least one person was killed and a firefighter was missing in West Virginia where hundreds of homes were damaged in flash flooding. The worst WV damage appeared to be in Raleigh, Fayette and Mercer Counties.

The Pipestem River crested at a record 17.18 feet in Bluestone, according to the National Weather Service.

One of the hardest hit areas was Mount Hope, where about 100 residents were evacuated to a shelter in nearby Oak Hill, according to Virgil Kincaid, a spokesperson for the local volunteer fire department.

In New Jersey, more than 300,000 utility customers were in the dark Saturday night after winds gusted nearly to hurricane force. Power outages stranded hundreds of passengers on trains that depend upon electricity for power along the Northeast Corridor.

In Atlantic City, where wind gusts of more than 60 mph were reported, two unoccupied homes collapsed and a construction crane became unstable forcing the evacuation of nearby buildings. Dozens of homes were damaged and hundreds of streets were closed as flash floods forced streams out of their banks.

The National Weather Service posted flood warnings in 16 Pennsylvania counties Saturday night.

But as the rain moved north Saturday night, weather forecasters warned the worst flooding may be yet to come. The Potomac River is expected to reach major flood stage north of Washington on Monday morning.


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