Jonathan Wiggs/Globe Staff
Here are some scenes from the recordbreaking rainstorm today that dumped buckets of rain today in some areas of southern New England.
FALL RIVER -- Terry Barlow says her family has owned a white two-story cottage overlooking the South Watuppa Pond in Fall River for more than a century, but today the home looked more like a houseboat than a waterfront home.
Days of drenching rain caused the pond to overflow its banks, and surround her house and a neighboring one. Wind-swept waves lapped at the house, and she had to put long wooden planks down so she could walk from her back door to her soggy lawn.
"This is the lake," Barlow, 51, said, surveying the three or four feet of water encircling her house. "It's flooded before, but certainly not like this."
Barlow said that the water had flooded a crawl space beneath her house but had miraculously not entered the first floor. Although her next-door neighbors had apparently left their house to find a safe place to stay, Barlow hoped to spend the night at home.
She said she didn't want to uproot her pet cat, Snoppy, and her 78-year-old father, who was taking a nap in the late afternoon.
"We're going to hold out a little longer," she said. "If the water does not come in, I'm not going to leave."
A well-known visitor spent several minutes with Barlow this afternoon warning her that even though the rain had let up, staying might not be the wisest idea.
"The water will rise fast," said Governor Deval Patrick, who toured the neighborhood of about 20 houses with state officials and Fall River mayor Will Flanagan.
The residential neighborhood lies near a dairy farm, located close to the Tiverton, R.I., line. The houses were built there decades ago as summer cottages but had been converted in recent years to year-round residences.
Several other homes in the neighborhood had flooded basements and crawl spaces, even though they were not located on the edge of the pond; residents said that storm water doused the farm which is located on higher ground, and ran down to their properties.
A few resident have left the neighborhood to stay with friends or relatives, but many others could be seen outside their house, walking their dogs and talking to neighbors.
Patrick, wearing a Red Sox cap, a black and yellow windbreaker and blue jeans said after touring the neighborhood, "Nature's a powerful thing, its done a number on the Commonwealth, particularly this part of it."
Nonetheless, he said, he was struck by how well residents were holding up. "Their resilience is extraordinary," he said
He said that a disaster deceleration from the federal government will make funds available to residents and businesses with flood damage. He urged people to videotape or photograph damage to their property and keep all records they receive from insurance companies after submitting claims.
-- Jon Saltzman
CRANSTON, R.I. -- Carolina Henriquez, 31, was evacuated in the pouring rain, along with her husband and 6-year-old daughter, from the first floor of a building on Fordson Avenue in Cranston, R.I.
A single tear fell down her face as she ducked under an umbrella near the unit with her daughter, Carolyn.
Henriquez said that while her television and jewelry were probably ruined, among other items, she was especially saddened by the loss of family pictures.
"Everything else is replaceable," said Henriquez, who tried to reenter the residence for the pictures but was barred by firefighters. She said they were about to declare the units condemned.
Henry Cole, 70, lives with his wife in the area. While their living space hadn't sustained major damage as of this afternoon, their car was almost completely submerged in the parking lot.
"That's my means of transportation," said a distressed Cole.
Meanwhile, on Perkins Street, flooding forced the evacuation of about 20 homes.
Residents Corinne Bird, 37, and Rick Bergeron, 41, said that after sustaining about $40,000 in damage to the basement, they will have to postpone their wedding, which was scheduled for September.
Bergeron said that they recently installed a new flooding prevention system in the basement. It's now under three feet of water.
"There's no system they make that's going to handle this," he said.
Bird said the family's fully furnished cellar, which includes an entertainment center, was ruined, as well as the wood paneling on the walls and many toys, to the chagrin of her three sons, who were staying with relatives.
"They called me this morning and said, 'Do I still have toys?" she said.
Bird added that her father also lives on the street and saw heavy flooding in his basement.
"Water was coming in like Niagra Falls," she said, noting that the flooding could reach the first floor of her home later today.
-- Travis Andersen
CLINTON -- Francis Johnson was one of the Clinton residents nervously watching a swollen river that runs alongside Green Street.
A resident of Branch Street for 10 years, he stood on his porch this morning and looked out towards the swelling river, hoping he wouldn't see a replay of recent flooding in the area.
"I just hope it doesn't get like it was two weeks ago. We were flooded at least five feet up, our basement was flooded and kerosene spiiled all over the cellar. The river was coming into the street. It was like a small pond right here in the road. We had to take boats to get into the house. Right now, we have no hot water because of the flooding before," he said.
About 100 people were evacuated for that other storm. Fire Chief Richard Hart said as many as 250 could be evacuated if the flooding is worse this time.
-- Brian Ballou
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