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Nor'easter brings states of emergency

Declarations of states of emergency were issued in Connecticut and Massachusetts Tuesday as rivers and streams swelled beyond flood stages. A slow-moving nor’easter made its way across the region, dropping as much as 8 inches of rain in some locations.

The town of Norwich declared a state of emergency Tuesday morning, closing roads and deploying firefighters to pump out flooded basements. In Winsted, the Mad and Still rivers crept up their banks throughout the day, while local ball fields were saturated and ponds formed in areas throughout town.

Gov. M. Jodi Rell announced Tuesday that she had placed the Connecticut National Guard on alert to assist with local flood control and sandbagging efforts. Rell directed the state Department of Emergency Management and Homeland Security to increase the state’s supply of 180,000 sandbags by an additional 300,000, which were delivered from Massachusetts by the Connecticut National Guard. The towns of Greenwich and Norwich had requested 1,500 and 4,100 sandbags, respectively, as of Tuesday afternoon.

“Public safety remains our top priority as water levels continue to rise and threaten homes and businesses,” Rell said in a press release. “We are using all state resources to keep our citizens safe until the rivers and streams recede to safer levels.”

Though there were more than 2,300 residents without power Tuesday, state police reported no significant events. Some schools in Connecticut’s southeastern towns were closed for the day Tuesday.

Across the state, the Housatonic River at the Stevenson Dam, between Oxford and Monroe, was a foot above flood stage Tuesday morning, according to the National Weather Service. The Connecticut River at Middletown reached flood stage early Tuesday morning. Some of the worst flooding occurred in at the Yantic River in Yantic, which reached 4 feet above flood stage at 13.3 feet, just 18 inches shy of its all-time record.

Flooding closed many roads across the Connecticut, including sections of Route 1 in New London County and Route 17A in Portland.

President Barack Obama issued a disaster declaration Monday for seven Massachusetts counties, with Gov. Deval Patrick declaring a state of emergency in the state.

Showers continued through Wednesday, but gave way to clearing skies Thursday.

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