Severe flooding swept away cars, uprooted trees and forced evacuations as the Northeast endured another day of driving rain Saturday. But in some places, the sun was shining for the first time in a week.
Forecasters expected strong winds overnight but said the worst of the heavy rain appeared to be over. Parts of the Northeast have had more than a foot of rain since Oct. 7.
"We need the sun and the breeze to dry it up a bit, to start raising the spirits of the residents," said Harry Conover, director of emergency management in New Jersey's Monmouth County. "These people have been going through this all week, and they haven't seen the sun in a long time."
Flooding kept roads and highways closed, halted train service and prompted Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (R) to declare a state of emergency, following the lead of New Jersey and New Hampshire. The death toll rose to 11 when a 75-year-old Connecticut man was swept away by rushing water at a campground. Searchers were looking for a woman who fell into the dangerous rapids of another Connecticut river, and four people in New Hampshire have been missing for a week.
In Massachusetts alone, the flooding was estimated to have caused more than $6.5 million in damage, Romney said.
Though the worst rain was over, the region was not out of danger. Flood warnings were in effect in Massachusetts, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Connecticut and New Hampshire as rivers swelled and officials worried that dams might burst.
"We probably got three months of rain in this past week," said Kerry Flaherty, director of emergency management in Connecticut.
Amtrak canceled service in parts of the Northeast Corridor because of high water on the tracks, and flooded highways snarled traffic from Connecticut to New Hampshire. Hundreds of residents were evacuated as rivers overflowed their banks and covered roadways.
"Our whole first floor is gone," said Kay O'Malley, of Spring Lake, N.J., where the sun finally peeked through the clouds. O'Malley and her 11-year-old daughter Meghan took a canoe to their house to try to salvage some of their belongings.
Flooding in central Massachusetts swept away about 30 cars in an industrial area of Worcester and forced a police officer to climb out his cruiser's window to escape the rising water. Two or three boxcars in a city rail yard also were lifted up by the flooding and pushed into the street, police said. Floodwaters were reported as high as 7 feet in some areas.
Worcester resident Eric Plikunas, 22, and his family sought refuge at Doherty Memorial High School after his apartment's roof caved in. "I thought I was dreaming. I woke up and my girlfriend was lying in a puddle of water," he said.
On Interstate 91 just south of Springfield, traffic backed up for miles after deep water forced officials to temporarily close the highway in both directions.
In New Hampshire, many of the 1,300 residents evacuated last weekend from Keene returned home Saturday, but a 500-foot mudslide blocked part of Route 123.
"There's water in the road, water in the basement, literally all over the state," said Jim Van Dongen, spokesman for the New Hampshire Emergency Management Office.