N.H. Deals With Flooding, Outages

(NECN: Lauren Collins) - While the weekend storm was swelling rivers throughout New Hampshire, it was also icing over the hilltops of Sullivan County.

"About two o'clock in the morning we heard this loud crash, and so my husband got up and he came out and looked.  I was laying there and I'm hearing all these noises.  And he come in and he says 'we have a mess,'" recalls Ann Rice of Charlestown.

Trees were down and so were the power lines.  The Rices - and more than half of the residents in Charlestown - have been out of power ever since.  As of Tuesday afternoon 4,400 utility customers in the Upper Valley were still off line.  Many would likely spend another night in the dark.

"Main transmission lines have come down along the roadsides," says Charlestown Assistant Emergency Management Director Ron Greenleaf.  "In some areas it's actually taken the poles out, along with the transformers."

"We don't mind it.  It's quiet, it's peaceful," smiles Rice who notes, "we have a generator."

As repair work continued on damaged lines and transformers, New Hampshire Emergency Management officials also had their eyes on ice jams still threatening areas of the state.

"They cause two problems," explains New Hampshire Homeland Security and Emergency Management Director Christopher Pope.  "One, they back up water behind the ice jam which can cause flooding in unexpected places, and then when they release they cause a second surge of water downstream which can cause secondary flooding."

The National Guard was photographing jams on 6 rivers from the air Tuesday: The sugar, Contoocook, Pemigewasset, Baker, Ammonoosuc, and Saco.   Experts from the Department of Environmental Services were also out measuring snow pack as more rain heads this way.  

"We'll look at that with the National Weather Service River Forecast Center and get a sense of how much rain's coming and how much rain, combined with the temperatures and the existing snowpack, what that may do to the rivers," says Pope.

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