New England suffers from the worst floods in 70 years

Across northeastern Massachusetts, thousands of people fled submerged neighborhoods during the region's worst flooding in nearly 70 years. More than a foot of rain fell during the weekend in some areas.

The stubborn storm system lingering over the region was expected to move out by Wednesday, and Peter Judge, a spokesman for the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency, said the worst of the flooding appeared to be over.

But Tuesday morning, commuters still awoke to another day of driving rain.

In Lowell, crews took to the streets in boats and used bullhorns to urge 1,000 households to evacuate. Nick Barrett, 24, took an air mattress when he left his condominium overlooking the Merrimack River, and later joked it might become a raft.

More than a foot of rain has fallen in a region stretching across New Hampshire, Massachusetts and southern Maine. Between Boston and the New Hampshire border, the National Weather Service estimated 12 to 17 inches of rain fell in three days. Even though the month is only half over, it already ranks as the wettest May on record in Concord, N.H, and Portland, Maine, the AP reports.

In New Hampshire alone, more than 600 roads have been damaged, destroyed or inundated by water. Flooding in Maine washed out dozens of roads and bridges, and threatened a pair of dams along the swollen Salmon Falls River in Lebanon. Two areas of Lebanon near the Spaulding Dam were evacuated Monday as a precaution, the AP reports.

The rising water of Pillsbury Lake in Webster, N.H., breached a dam on Monday, releasing millions of gallons of water and threatening to drain the lake. The water eroded the earth from one side of the dam and began running into woods and downstream to the Contoocook River, causing some flooding and forcing the evacuation of several families.