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Archive for Thursday, October 20, 2005

Water receding behind battered dam

October 20, 2005

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— Residents of Taunton, a working-class city about 40 miles south of Boston, were breathing easier as water pressing against a battered wooden dam continued to recede Wednesday.

Officials planned to pump more out, in hopes of doing repairs before an expected second weekend of heavy rain.

The dam's status remained "critical," and a state of emergency was still in effect, Mayor Robert Nunes said. Officials fear a dam break would send a 6-foot wall of water surging through downtown Taunton, about a half-mile downstream.

Nunes said evacuations would remain in effect for thousands of people living below the 173-year-old Whittenton Pond Dam, and the downtown business district would remain closed. Schools were closed for a second day Wednesday.

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