Flooding in seven Northeastern states kept more than 1,000 people from their homes yesterday, where raging waters washed out scores of roads and hampered the search for victims of a bridge collapse. With the ground already soaked, runoff from new rain pushed up reservoir levels, and officials at several New England dams had to open spillways, raising rivers even higher. The governors of New Hampshire and Massachusetts declared emergencies.
Officials in and around Augusta, Maine, the state's capital, and nearby Gardiner and Hallowell estimated damages for that area alone at more than $30 million. Estimates for other parts of the hard-hit state were incomplete.
At the Schoharie Creek, where a New York State Thruway bridge collapsed Sunday, raging waters hampered searchers who had recovered three bodies and were looking for more missing cars. The cause of the collapse has not been determined. An inspection in April 1986 showed the bridge in reasonably good condition, although two of the four support piers were not checked.
Since last week, more than 1,000 people have been evacuated from homes in New Hampshire, Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, and Vermont.
Scattered rain was expected to continue yesterday throughout New England and south across much of New York and Pennsylvania to the central Appalachians.
Another storm swept into the Pacific Northwest, the South remained chilled, and southeastern Ohio and Tennessee suffered power outages from a weekend snowstorm.
In Ohio, rapid snowmelt pushed the Huron, Mahoning, and Scioto Rivers above flood levels. Thousands of homes in the southeastern part of the state have been without electricity since the weekend snowstorm.
The same storm that produced the flooding in New England caused heavy wind and snow in mountainous regions of the South.
In Sevier County, Tenn., where wind-blown snow piled up to depths of 32 inches, downed power lines left about 600 homes without electricity for the fourth day yesterday. Utility officials expected repairs on the lines to be completed today.