New England floods recede
State officials prepared to apply for federal help after the week of rain that drove at least 2,500 people from their homes, flooded businesses, closed schools and washed out hundreds of roads in Massachusetts, Maine and New Hampshire.
Gov. Mitt Romney said damage would exceed "tens of millions" in Massachusetts alone. He said he was waiting for a precise calculation of damage before applying for federal assistance.
Rain soaked New England for a fifth straight day on Tuesday after the worst flooding in 70 years forced thousands from their homes overnight, but authorities said the worst of the floods appeared to be over.
"We've turned a corner here," said Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency spokesman Peter Judge. "The vast majority of rivers have crested. Now it's a matter of getting them down below flood stage over the next day or so."
Rescue workers and residents sloshed through knee-high water contaminated with sewage in communities north of Boston along the Merrimack River, which flows from New Hampshire to Massachusetts before dumping into the Atlantic Ocean. Several parking lots resembled murky lakes.
No serious injuries or deaths were reported as of Tuesday, partly because no strong winds accompanied the storm.
Meteorologists predicted another inch (2.5 cm) of rain on Tuesday in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine, which are in states of emergency, but said there was an outside chance of bigger thunderstorms that could complicate relief efforts.
Water from the Spicket River in Methuen, Mass. surges over a granite block dam in danger of collapse Tuesday, May 16, 2006.
Tags: [Americas / USA / New England] [Floods]