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New England tallies up flood damage

National Guardsmen helped patrol against looting Thursday in a swamped Massachusetts town, and officials in the Northeast estimated that nearly a week of flooding had caused at least $110 million in damage. Amtrak on Wednesday suspended rail service between Springfield, Mass., and Montreal because of speed reductions and backups forced by flooding that forced more than 4,500 people from their homes at one time or another since Friday.

Scores of roads have been closed throughout the Northeast because of the torrential rains and floods. Damage in Massachusetts was estimated at more than $50 million, and more than $60 million in Maine.

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The National Guard was called in Wednesday night to help patrol Lawrence, Mass., where residents evacuated from an area a quarter-mile in diameter were worried about looters.

``There's been some sporadic break-ins ... and we're just trying to contain it,'' said police Lt. Greg Panagiotakos.

Some of the 140 roads that were closed in New Hampshire since Saturday remain blocked. Civil Defense spokesman David Hayden said about 100 people cannot return home because of extensive damage or remaining high water.

``It's not going to get any worse, but it will be some time before the waters will go down,'' Mr. Hayden said.

``We've gone from the emergency operations phase to recovery and damage assessment,'' he said.

The number of known evacuees included about 2,000 people in Massachusetts, 1,500 in New Hampshire, 540 in Maine, 450 in New Jersey, and 200 in Connecticut, officials said. Many more may also have fled to the homes of their friends or relatives.

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