As Hurricane Floyd moved into Canada yesterday with lashing rains and strong winds, communities along the Atlantic coast continued to suffer its effects, with severe flooding, massive rescue efforts and continuing power outages.
At least 34 people died when Floyd swept up the Eastern Seaboard with record rains that flooded scores of towns and forced the evacuation of more than 2 million people from coastal communities.
What follows are some scenes yesterday from the aftermath of Floyd.
New York: Commuter Holdups
NEW YORK--At the Grand Central Station railroad terminal, rumpled retail broker Frank Gilligan found the scene a little too familiar. He had spent Thursday night at a friend's house in Manhattan after trying for hours to leave Grand Central for Irvington.
"I slept on the floor and I'm wearing the same clothes now," Gilligan said. "I'm trying to figure out whether to go home or go to work."
Like the rest of the Eastern Seaboard, the New York region was awash with sporadic flooding, power outages, closed or traffic-clogged roads and felled trees. Floyd's aftermath produced such high winds that both the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island were closed.
Commuters were forced to reorder their logistics when flooding on train tracks forced Amtrak to cancel its Thursday evening and all-day Friday Northeast corridor service. Other commuter train services also had to suspend service because of the record rainfall in the region.
In Ossining in Westchester County, "The station is a lake, with as much as eight feet of water over the tracks," Metro-North spokeswoman Marjorie Anders said at midmorning.
New Jersey: A Town in Shambles
BOUND BROOK, N.J.--A raging Raritan River crested as a large-scale rescue mission continued amid massive flooding and a fire downtown.
Local emergency agencies summoned a Coast Guard helicopter, which plucked terrified residents off rooftops. The mission--which also included National Guard troops, area police departments, firefighters and private citizens in boats--rescued hundreds of residents. Local officials said about 1,700 people were in shelters in Somerset County.
"We have 10 feet of water running down Main Street," said Denise Coyle, director of the Somerset County Board of Chosen Freeholders.
"We've never seen anything like this," said Gov. Christine Todd Whitman, who was headed to Bound Brook. "Right now we still have people to evacuate, we have buildings to secure, we have fires to put out."
The flood stunned residents of these low-lying communities, even veterans of past floods. "I think it's happened to them so many times, we figured the water would go down," said Karen Fritz, a community activist. "The water never went down."
North Carolina: Raging Floods
CHINQUAPIN, N.C.--Helicopters were dispatched to rescue more than 1,500 people from the roofs of their homes as hurricane-drenched North Carolina struggled with the worst floods in its history.
Residents of the eastern third of the state faced the added perils of venomous water snakes and pollution from pig and human waste a day after Hurricane Floyd swept over them. By afternoon, helicopters had pulled about 300 people to safety, but as many as 1,200 more were still waiting on the roofs of houses and shopping centers, emergency relief officials said.
"We have 35 helicopters in the air and they are picking up people, usually one or two at a time," said state emergency management spokesman Tom Ditt. "This is severe, very severe, the worst-ever flooding in North Carolina."
In Chinquapin, a Duplin County community, rescue workers used boats and jet skis to save stranded residents. The jet ski riders helped scare off deadly water moccasin snakes that wriggled through the flood waters.
State officials warned residents that some dams were at risk of bursting, which would send fresh torrents of water down on them. They said the flood waters could contain waste from humans and pigs.
"We have unconfirmed reports that entire hog farms have just been swallowed up by the floods and that human waste treatment plants are under water," said Don Reuter, director of the state Department of the Environment and Natural Resources.
Emergency services officials said every road east of Interstate 95 in North Carolina was closed by flooding and appealed to people who had evacuated the area before the hurricane hit to stay where they were and not try to return home.
James Lee Witt, director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, said the damage appeared worse than the state's worst previous natural disaster, Hurricane Fran, which inflicted $6 billion in damage in 1996.
And the mess could remain for days to come. Meteorologists expected flood levels to continue rising in some counties as rivers drained toward the Atlantic.
Florida: Little Need for Fuss
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla.--When the panic subsided and then the relief faded away, a new emotion washed over many people who prepared for the very worst of Hurricane Floyd: buyer's remorse.
"I think that Hurricane Floyd was perpetrated by Home Depot and Publix [supermarkets]," said Paul Elias as he returned a bundle of plywood, two-by-fours, hardware, batteries and flashlights. "We all overdid it."
Abroad: U.S. 'Overreaction'
LONDON--British commentators looked on in amazement at what they called a "massive overreaction" to the hurricane. "The sight of 2.6 million Americans fleeing Hurricane Floyd was . . . one of the dafter exercises in which the U.S. has indulged," wrote Bronwen Maddox, foreign editor of the Times of London.
Compiled from reports by staff writers Lynne Duke in New York and T.R. Reid in London and the Associated Press and Reuters.
Some effects of the storm:
11 a.m. yesterday: The remnants of Floyd reached Boothbay Harbor, Maine. With winds down to 25 mph, the storm began to fall apart.
Boston: Harbor closed.
New York City: Businesses closed early.
Bound Brook, N.J.: Fire raged in flooded town.
Darby, Pa.: Three people missing in severe flooding.
Atlantic City, N.J.: Floyd downgraded to a tropical storm at 5 p.m. Thursday.
Portsmouth, Suffolk and Chesapeake, Va.: Without drinking water.
Interstate-95: 170 miles from Petersburg to Benson closed.
Rocky Mount, N.C.: 500 in area stranded on roofs.
Chinquapin, N.C.: Helicopters rescued 300 in area.
Landfall: 3 a.m. Thursday, Cape Fear, N.C.