By Scott E. Kinney, Atlantic News Staff Writer
Atlantic News, Friday, April 20, 2007
[The following article is courtesy of Atlantic News]
SEACOAST -- Heavy downpours and high winds combined on Monday to create flooded streets, damaged properties and recurring nightmares for those still recovering from flooding that occurred last May along the Seacoast and throughout much of the state.
The New Hampshire Seacoast was among the hardest hit. The towns of Rye, North Hampton and Hampton closed down much of Route 1A throughout the day on Monday. Astronomical high tides carried portions of seawall, gravel, sand and anything in its path clear across the street.
Seawalls in Rye between Jenness State Beach and Rye Beach Club had been all but demolished during Monday’s first high tide. While it took state workers nearly 12 hours to restore the barrier, officials were anticipating the wall could have been knocked down again later in the day.
Gov. John Lynch, who visited the areas of Hampton and Newmarket on Tuesday, declared a state of emergency Monday and dispatched 200 National Guardsmen to areas hardest hit by the storm.
Evacuations in low-lying areas throughout the state placed several residents in storm shelters implemented by the American Red Cross. Regionally, Red Cross shelters made temporary homes for residents of Hampton, Newmarket, Rochester and Barrington among others.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency dispatched damage assessment teams to New Hampshire as well as several northeastern states to ascertain the extent of the damage done.
As a result of the storm, Public Service of New Hampshire reported up to 45,000 customers without power at its peak. By late Tuesday that number has dwindled to 15,000. However, with flooded roads across the state, PSNH representatives estimated that power would not be restored to all of its customers until the end of the week.
The state’s Department of Health and Human Services warned against drinking water that may have been contaminated by the flooding, mold that may occur from standing water along with a host of other issues that may have occurred as a result of the storm/ flooding.
The forecast did not bode well for the area as there was predicted to be little sun seen prior to today.