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June 30, 2006

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A Hard Rain: Northeast flooding kills at least 16, displaces thousands, inundates fishing towns

For Northeasterners affected by this week’s record flooding, it’s been a hard rain indeed. North of Binghamton, NY, two truckers died as they drove into a 25-foot deep chasm cut across Interstate 88. In Livingston Manor, NY, searchers found the body of 15-year-old Jamie Bertholf, carried off by Cattail Brook after her house collapsed, as she waited on the porch to be rescued. And in western Maryland, three young adults were saved from their inundated car only to be washed from the bed of the rescue vehicle and swept away to their deaths. All told, at least 16 people are dead across four states. New York Gov. George Pataki put the costs within his state at near $100 million. Among the hardest hit areas is the cradle of American flyfishing, where the famed Beaverkill, Willowemoc, and Upper Delaware Rivers (among others) suffer the third damaging deluge in less than 2 years. On the Delaware in particular, U.S. Geological Survey experts are calling it a record flood, posting the highest water levels ever recorded—assuming the gauges weren’t broken by the torrent. Rightfully among the lesser concerns for the moment, there’s is no telling yet exactly how the floods will affect the area’s celebrated trout fishing.


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