Mass. Braces For Record-Toppling Deluge

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Gov. Deval Patrick has declared a state of emergency and mobilized the National Guard as Massachusetts prepares for potential flooding from the latest storm.

Barely two weeks after a storm dropped up to 10 inches of rain on some parts of the state, waterlogged residents are bracing for up to six more inches of rain over the next three days.

The governor says all of the state's rivers are likely to reach flood stage in the next couple of days, and because the ground is saturated from prior rain storms, it is difficult for the water to be absorbed.

Flood watches and warnings have been posted for a number of rivers, including the Charles in Dover, which the National Weather Service says could reach major flood.

"This is really a historic event we are in," said Walter Drag, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Taunton.

Patrick said 700 National Guard troops will be deployed by daybreak Tuesday to help in several capacities, including sandbagging and, if necessary, evacuations.

Patrick says no mandatory evacuations had been ordered as of yet, but residents of flood zones should be prepared to leave their homes quickly if flood waters rise.

Peter Judge, of the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency, said early Monday that his organization is particularly keeping an eye on the state's central and eastern regions.

"Rivers, ponds, lakes, streams, etc. are all expected to go over their flooding stage over the next few days," he said. "In some cases, moderate to major flooding (is expected)."

Patrick had the National Guard on alert as soldiers helped fill sandbags at a state highway facility in Lexington on Monday. National Guard officials said they worked through the night Sunday to brace for the storm and are reviewing their response capabilities.

The rain is adding to the misery of homeowners still struggling to bail out basements flooded during the three-day storm earlier this month.

Ted Les, 76, and his wife, Blanche, 69, worried what would happen if rains caused any more damage to their home of 40 years in Clinton.

In the event of more damage, "we can't live here anymore," Les said. "We don't know where we are going to go."

The heaviest rain is expected to hit late Monday night and Tuesday. The new rain is expected to shatter a 1953 Boston record for total March rainfall.

This program aired on March 29, 2010. The audio for this program is not available.