Northeast floodwaters slowly ebb

/ Source: The Associated Press

Some of the nearly 6,000 people who fled their homes in New Jersey because of flooding that started during the weekend have been able to return and begin cleaning up the mud and debris, officials said Wednesday.

Many will also have to make repairs, since an estimated 3,200 homes were damaged by the flooding caused by heavy rain and melting snow, according to the governor’s office.

No deaths or serious injuries were blamed on the flooding in New Jersey or Pennsylvania, but at least two people drowned in New York state, and a third was missing.

Along the hard-hit Delaware River basin, residents of Ewing and the Glen Afton area of Mercer County returned to their homes Tuesday afternoon, said Paul Carden, director of emergency services for the Red Cross in Princeton.

Trenton’s Island neighborhood was still closed, he said.

Acting Gov. Richard J. Codey has estimated that property damage will hit $30 million, about the same amount caused by remnants of Hurricane Ivan that swept through the state in September.

More rain expected Thursday
More rain is expected to arrive in the region late Thursday.

Thousands of buildings along Pennsylvania’s Delaware and Susquehanna rivers and their tributaries were waterlogged for the second time in less than seven months.

In Pennsylvania’s Monroe County alone, businesses had already reported $40 million worth of damage as of Tuesday afternoon, “and that’s conservative,” said Harry Robidoux, director of emergency services. At least 300 homes countywide were flooded, he said.

The Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency estimated more than 5,715 homes were evacuated statewide.

On Tuesday, forest rangers in southeastern New York’s Delaware County located the body of one of two men in a van that was swept away in a creek Sunday. He was identified as 55-year-old Anthony Cipoll. The search continued Wednesday for the van’s owner, 62-year-old Alexander Meyer. Another New York victim, a 58-year-old woman, had been found Monday.