Stacey Marcure thought she and her family had survived the worst of flooding two weeks ago, when just 5 inches of water seeped into her basement. Then she woke Tuesday to a fresh burst of heavy flooding spurred by record-setting rainfall that released havoc on this former mill town and much of the Northeast.
Her family made it out safely, though her husband had to be rescued by boat after he returned to raise valuables to the top floor. Now she's staying with relatives, unsure what will become of possessions such as her daughter's first communion dress - or the home that had been in her family for 70 years.
"It's definitely not going to be livable, at least not for a while," said Marcure, 38, a teacher's assistant.
The rains stopped Wednesday and the floodwaters began to recede in hard-hit Rhode Island, though the worst flooding in 200 years could persist for several days and permanently close businesses already struggling in the weak economy.
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano plans to travel to Rhode Island on Friday to assess the damage, a department official told The Associated Press on Wednesday on condition of anonymity because the trip hadn't been formally announced.