- The Washington Times - Monday, October 10, 2005

ALSTEAD, N.H. (AP) — Prolonged, heavy rain caused flooding from North Carolina to Maine over the weekend, forcing hundreds of people to evacuate, knocking out electricity, weakening dams and making roads impassable.

At least 10 persons died in flooding or in rain-related crashes, including two young persons killed in New Hampshire when someone apparently drove a car off of a washed-out bridge into floodwaters, officials said. At least one other person was seen being swept away in a swift-flowing river.

New Hampshire Gov. John Lynch declared a state of emergency, calling in 500 National Guard members for assistance.

“This is the worst damage they’ve seen from flooding in 25 years in New Hampshire,” he said Sunday night.

By yesterday, the floodwaters were receding in some areas. But with rain in the forecast for the next several days, the National Weather Service warned that dams could fail or overflow.

The two New Hampshire residents who died in the car were identified as Steven Day, of Unity, and Ashley Gate, of Claremont, both 20, state police said.

The body of an unidentified man was spotted from the air in a cornfield near a river in Langdon, and his death appeared to be flood-related, authorities said. A kayaker on New Hampshire’s North Branch River was feared dead.

In Hoosick Falls, N.Y., 6-year-old Michael Hackett slipped into the rain-swollen Hoosick River on Sunday. His mother’s boyfriend, Robert Scanlon, 39, dove in to save him. Their bodies were found yesterday morning.

In Pennsylvania, state police said Tiffany Wieand, 19, of Milford Township died Saturday when she tried to drive through a flooded roadway, while in New Jersey, 2-year-old Shane Belluardo of Tobyhanna, Pa., died from head injuries Saturday after his parents’ car went out of control on a highway in Knowlton. Rain also was cited as a factor in traffic accidents over the weekend that killed three persons in Maine.

The Weather Service reported that more than 5 inches of rain fell in Wilmington, N.C., on Saturday. North Carolina’s Brunswick and Pender counties saw between 7 and 10 inches of rain in four days. Allentown, Pa., received 10 inches of rain between Friday and Saturday. Rainfall also totaled 10 inches in parts of Connecticut and 8 inches in parts of Maine.

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