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2 missing after storms flood northeast US

June 30, 2013

FORT PLAIN, New York (AP) — Two people were missing after heavy rains inundated the northeast and led to severe flooding in some areas, officials said Saturday.

A woman in upstate New York’s Mohawk Valley is unaccounted for after her mobile home was washed away by rising waters Friday in Fort Plain, Police Chief Robert Thomas said. Officials identified her as Ethel Healey.

In Pennsylvania, officials said an 86-year-old Clinton County man was swept into a rain-swollen creek Thursday while trying to retrieve an ATV. State police did not release the man’s name.

Clinton County Director of Emergency Services Kevin Fanning said 18 homes had been damaged by flooding after one part of the county received about 7 inches (178 millimeters) of rain in an hour Thursday night. The flooding damaged more than 30 miles (48 kilometers) of roads — not including some state routes repaired immediately under an emergency order — but remained passable.

“Travel at your own risk,” he warned.

A number of communities in the northeast experienced flash flooding as a result of heavy rain Thursday and Friday. More was expected in some areas Saturday, including northern Vermont, where the National Weather Service posted a flash flood warning for the Burlington area.

In upstate New York, the storms caused the Mohawk River and other waterways to overflow. At Little Falls, the river reached more than 3 feet (0.9 meters) above flood stage late Friday morning before receding, the National Weather Service said.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo toured areas damaged by flooding Saturday and said a disaster declaration would remain in effect for 15 counties.

“We think the worst is behind us for now,” Cuomo said at a briefing in Herkimer.

Cuomo said homeowners whose property was damaged should be eligible for assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

“It’s traumatic to say the least to see your whole life turned upside down literally in a matter of minutes,” he said.

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