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Two missing after storms bring flooding

on June 30, 2013 2:30 AM

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

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.

Police said rescue crews searched all day Friday for the missing man with the aid of volunteer firefighters, a helicopter, rescue dogs and divers. The Centre Daily Times says the effort was called off Friday and rescuers did not plan to resume Saturday.

Emergency Services Director Kevin Fanning told The (Lock Haven) Express that the storm dumped about five to seven inches of rain in about an hour. He said some roads were still impassible and roads, drainage culverts, bridges and a number of homes were damaged.

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.

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 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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