No respite from heavy rain for US North-East

Rain fell for an eighth straight day around the waterlogged United States North-East on Friday, pushing people from their homes in the middle of the night and leaving train tracks littered with fallen trees.

Tens of thousands of sandbags were handed out in New Hampshire and New Jersey, and flood warnings covered parts of Connecticut, New York and New Jersey.

Rainfall totals since October 7 topped 30cm or more in spots, and forecasters predicted another 5cm to 7,6cm of rain in some places by Saturday. At least 10 people have died because of the downpours, and four others remain missing in New Hampshire.

Water lapped at the foundations of some Bergen county homes, and officials there expected rivers to swell even more.

About 100 people along the New Jersey coast were evacuated overnight as the Shark River rose. They followed dozens of families who left homes around northern New Jersey when knee-deep and higher floodwaters isolated their neighbourhoods.

Rainfall in Ramsey, near the New York state line, has reached almost 8,1cm altogether.

Sandbags were distributed in north-eastern New Jersey, and Essex county jail inmates were pressed into duty filling them with sand normally used for snowstorms.

Alstead, New Hampshire, a town of 2 000, saw at least 12 homes washed away and dozens more heavily damaged last weekend.

New Hampshire state workers passed out 46 000 sandbags and 550 well-testing kits in that state’s hard-hit south-western corner.

In New York’s Central Park, 15,9cm of rain have fallen since Wednesday.
Each day’s total broke the record for that date. The previous mark for October 13 was 4,9cm, set in 1927.

Incoming flights at two of the area’s three major airports were delayed by more than an hour on average on Friday morning.—Sapa-AP