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New England Drenched by 6 More Inches of Rain

June 08, 2006|Elizabeth Mehren | Times Staff Writer

BOSTON — As if the region needed one more inch of precipitation, southeastern New England on Wednesday endured yet another pummeling rainstorm.

The area's third major storm in just over a month dropped up to 6 inches of water in some places, saving special fury for Cape Cod. Basements flooded and roofs leaked, and cars crawled as drivers navigated with severely diminished visibility.

The downpour also swelled rivers and streams that already were testing their limits after two earlier storms.

Flood warnings were issued in parts of two coastal counties, and for the Blackstone River in the Worcester area, west of Boston.

The region north of Boston that bore the brunt of a brutal Mother's Day weekend storm suffered less.

Wind gusts of 40 mph and above compounded the misery. Some flights at Boston's Logan International Airport were delayed. Commuter ferries -- a popular form of transportation in the area south of Boston -- tossed in high waves but managed to stay close to schedule.

Bill Simpson, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Taunton, Mass., described the storm as a nor'easter, although not in the classic sense, when winds routinely exceed 50 mph.

"The people who are getting the flooding would beg to differ with the official definition," Simpson said.

He described the latest weather display as "part of a relatively slow-moving series of low-pressure systems." Normally such storms pass through in 12 to 15 hours, Simpson said. But the recent episodes have persisted.

Simpson said waters around New England that were warmed by the Gulf Stream could produce enhanced rainfall, such as the region had seen in an especially soggy spring.

The storm brought minor car crashes and spinouts, said Sgt. Dave Paine of the Massachusetts State Police, "but thankfully, nothing of a real serious nature up to this time."

State drivers seem to have become inured to this spring's dismal conditions, Paine said. "We're hoping our citizens got the message from the first two storms," he added.

Officer Chris Challies of the Barnstable Police Department on Cape Cod said the heavy rain produced fender-benders along with frustration among residents who wondered if the skies would ever brighten.

Weather forecasters predicted showers today, with additional rain expected over the weekend.

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