Roads closed, rivers still flooded in Northeast

PHILADELPHIA - September 12, 2011

It could be Wednesday before the Passaic River in New Jersey falls below flood stage, forecasters said. Moderate flooding was occurring, and a flood warning was in place at two places along the river, Pine Brook and Little Falls.

The flooding had forced hundreds from their homes in the state, and Lee came quickly on the heels of Hurricane Irene, slowing restoration efforts.

Scores of roads were closed in central and northeastern Pennsylvania, where flooding rivers and creeks killed more than a dozen people and tens of thousands of people were evacuated last week, many along the Susquehanna River in Luzerne County. Levees held back the floodwaters in many communities but other, unprotected areas saw massive damage.

The flooding surpassed that brought on by Hurricane Agnes in 1972 in some communities, including Bloomsburg, which saw the Susquehanna rise higher than it had been in more than a century.

Near the Pennsylvania-New York border, the Susquehanna was about half a foot over flood stage Monday morning but receding.

In New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo planned to head to the Adirondacks to make an announcement about flood damage Monday morning. Many roads there were washed out or sustained other damage from the torrential rains in late August and again last week.

In hard-hit Binghamton in southern New York, some residents were being allowed to return home during daylight to begin cleaning up. Schools and businesses were reopening Monday, and classes were resuming at Binghamton University, the Press and Sun-Bulletin reported.

In Port Deposit, Md., most of the 1,000 residents were told to evacuate because of flooding expected from the opening of flood gates at the Conowingo Dam to relieve pressure on the Susquehanna. A few roads were opened on a limited basis Sunday, but the town still required residents along those roads to get permission before returning home.

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