TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Search For Missing in New England Flood

Search For Missing in New England Flood

Katharine Webster (
Tue, 11 Oct 2005 15:35:37 -0500

By KATHARINE WEBSTER, Associated Press Writer

Where Sally and Tim Canfield's home once stood, there is only open
land. Their home was washed away by floodwaters, and two days after
the rains subsided, their family found no trace of them.

Rescue crews and police dogs searched rivers and woods Tuesday for the
Canfields and two others missing in New Hampshire after a weekend of
heavy downpours that left at least 10 people dead from Maine to

"We didn't find any bodies," said a brother-in-law, Rick Mason, who
spent time with crews looking for the Canfields. "First there was
Katrina, then there was the earthquake, but this is pretty devastating
right here."

At least one of those missing in New Hampshire, a 67-year-old kayaker,
was feared dead.

Gov. John Lynch said the floods were the worst the state had
experienced in a quarter-century, and he sought a federal disaster
declaration. Teams from the Federal Emergency Management Agency were
expected to arrive later this week.

In Greenfield, Mass., where floods wrecked 40 trailers in a mobile home
park, the mayor said repairs would cost more than $1 million. The
flooding damaged a bridge and a dam, washed out a road, cracked sewer
mains and left at least 70 residents homeless, Mayor Christine Forgey
said. And just as in Katrina and the Gulf Coast, electric and water
service as non-existent or sporadi, as were telephones.

She declared a state of emergency and said she also would need state
and federal help. "There is no way we could foot this bill," she said.

From Friday evening through Sunday, storms dumped as much as 10 inches
of rain on New England and the mid-Atlantic states. In New Hampshire,
Hinsdale got 10.8 inches and Keene 10.5.

Just as the region began to dry out, forecasters warned that there
could be another of flooding if rainfall exceeded the 1 to 2 inches
expected through Wednesday. Weather forecasters said to 'count on
at least two inches over the same area on Wednesday.'

The floods forced the evacuation of 1,000 New Hampshire residents.
Officials went door-to-door Tuesday to check on the condition of many
homes. A stretch of at least 50 along one road had some type of
damage; officials said a dozens houses were washed away. Some
residents found they did not have much to return to.

"There's four feet of mud on our first floor," said Wendy Gendron, who
was evacuated with her family on Sunday. "There is no backyard anymore."

Police in Alstead discovered that the flood had washed away their
little police station. Other nearby communitities responded by taking
over Alstead police communications.

"All of our police records, computers, weapons ... everything that was
in there is gone. It's destroyed," said Police Chief Christopher Lyons.

Copyright 2005 The Associated Press.

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