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Spring flooding widespread

BY SUSAN KIM | Randolph, MA | April 2, 2001

"It is estimated that some 25,000 homes in Massachusetts received damage from the flooding."

—MA Emergency Agency

Many states are bracing for spring flooding. As Massachusetts residents mop up some 25,000 homes affected by recent flooding, the Midwest was under flood warnings Tuesday.

Flood Warnings were issued Tuesday for Fargo, the eastern counties of South Dakota, and Iowa. State emergency officials were watching rivers closely.

Meanwhile, in Massachusetts, the Worchester area was particularly hard hit, with floodwaters backing up sewer drains and causing contaminated overflow that hit the streets and people's homes.

The town of Wayland was also hard-hit when the Sudbury River crested two feet over flood stage.

Gov. Paul Cellucci has requested that President Bush declare a major disaster for Essex, Middlesex, and Norfolk counties.

It is estimated some 25,000 homes received damage from the flooding in the affected counties. Of that number, it is projected at least 15 percent received major damage (in excess of $10,000).

More than seven inches of rain fell on top of 2-4 inches of snowmelt water, said Peter Judge, public information officer from the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency, resulting in "very serious flooding."

Some rivers and creeks broke record highs, he said.

Recent spates of rain and warmer temperatures, arriving in conjunction with seasonal snowmelt and ice jams, have brought serious flooding potential to Maine as well.

Emergency management officials are encouraging residents who live near the Androscoggin, Kennebec, Piscataquis, and Penobscot rivers to develop flood response plans. "When the snow melts quickly, or ice jams form, the rivers can't carry the water out to sea and that can cause water to rise locally very quickly," said Joe Grimmig, communications officer for the Maine Emergency Management Agency.

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