For ninth day in a row, much of N.H. on flood watch

Monday, August 11
CONCORD, N.H. - With the rain showing no signs of letting up, much of New Hampshire was on a flood watch for the ninth day in a row.

The National Weather Service issued a flash flood warning Monday for central Grafton County in northern New Hampshire, saying excessive runoff from heavy rainfall would cause flooding of small creeks, streams, country roads and farmland. It also issued a flash flood watch covering most of the state, saying torrential downpours were expected throughout the afternoon and evening.

Over the last few weeks, heavy rain and flooding has been wreaking havoc throughout the region. And even more rain is expected throughout the next several days, according to Weather Service meteorologist Tom Hawley.

"It's an anomaly," said Hawley of the weather. "It's more like a spring pattern than a summer pattern."

The Weather Service is advising campers and hikers to avoid small streams and creeks. It said heavy rainfall has elevated water levels.

The state Marine Patrol has issued a no wake speed limit on Silver Lake in Belmont and Tilton because of the high water.

On Sunday, Franklin firefighters safely rescued an elderly woman and her grandson from flooding at a home on Webster Lake.

Deputy Fire Chief Royal Smith said the water was knee deep and fast moving.

His department also fished debris out of the lake Monday to prevent additional flooding.

Over the last few days, heavy rains have forced authorities to close roads throughout the state.

Route 113 between Holderness and Sandwich was closed after the highway was submerged by water up to 2-3 feet deep. It was reopened Sunday evening.

"The sponge (the groundwater table) is totally full and there's just no time for the ground to relieve itself" by drying out, Laconia Public Works Director Paul Moynihan told the Citizen of Laconia.

In the past three weeks, at least four people have been swept away by rushing rivers. Three of them drowned, including a 7-year-old Rhode Island girl who died trapped in her family's car in a flash flood in Ashland on Thursday.

That same day, heavy rain and runoff from the storms caused a sink hole about 50 wide and 12 feet deep in the Weirs Beach section of Laconia. It washed out part of the boardwalk and undermined a stretch of railroad tracks.


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