New England Flooding Recedes, Danger Remains

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WASHINGTON -- Parts of New England are experiencing the worst flooding they've seen in 200 years.

Some people had barely cleaned up after flooding last month when another storm hit.

Historic Flooding

As swollen streams continue spilling into their rivers, emergency managers predict it will be next week before flood waters retreat back into their banks.

"There's fish in my basement," said one flood victim. "Fish in my basement. Right now."

It's the third major storm to hit the region in recent weeks.

"We've had about as much moisture in the month of March as we would get in half of a year - six months of rain all compressed into one month," said WCVB Meteorologist Harvey Leonard. "It's too much to handle."

National Guard soldiers from three states are working to stave off the waters and evacuate the stranded.

Entire neighborhoods have been transformed into ponds and bridges and roads from Maine to Connecticut are washed out.

"I opened the screen door. I saw my recycle bin floating by the door," flood victim Lonnie Dirocco said.

Rhode Island Sees the Worst

Rhode Island was hit the hardest with homes and cars along the Pawtuxet River being submerged after the river swelled 12 feet above its normal level.

Residents able to stay in their homes are being asked to conserve electricity and stop flushing their toilets while crews monitor flooded sewage systems and electrical substations.

Business districts were hit especially hard, which is troubling since the state already struggles with an unemployment rate more than three points higher than the national average.

During less severe flooding last month, businesses missed out on an estimated $730,000 in revenue.

Meanwhile, one ruined playground serves as a reminder to area's children there will be little time for playing in the weeks ahead.

"We can't go in there any more," one little one lamented. "All the fences are torn down from all the water. And if we try to get in there without the hip boots, you sink."

Although it will take days for flood waters to recede, weather officials say there is sunshine in the forecast.

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