EASTON, Pa. – After the remnants of Hurricane Ivan filled their little ranch house with several feet of water, Dale and Charlotte Barr spent $40,000 to get it back in shape.
They were just about to tackle the last room — the kitchen — when the Delaware River (search) overflowed its banks again this weekend.
"We're tired," said Dale Barr on Monday. "I'm 65 years old. I can't continue to do this every six months."
Flooding left one person dead and forced the evacuation of thousands of people in New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania. The New Jersey Statehouse, located near the banks of the Delaware, was shut down for the day.
In eastern New York, police recovered the body of a woman who had been swept away by the rising waters, and were still searching for passengers who had been inside a van recovered from a swollen creek.
Upstate, residents dug out of 2 feet of snow that accompanied the storm system and now could bring more flooding as temperatures rise into the 60s this week, forecasters said.
In New Jersey, where about 3,500 people were evacuated, acting Gov. Richard J. Codey (search) declared a state of emergency, estimating property damage would approach $30 million. More than 4,000 homeowners were evacuated in Pennsylvania.
As the floodwaters began to recede Monday, leaving behind mucky water, sediment and debris, officials in eastern Pennsylvania took to the air to get a better look at the devastation in riverfront communities. An official damage estimate was not expected before Wednesday, but observers said they expected the results would be worse than Hurricane Ivan's remnants.
Many bridges and roads in Pennsylvania were impassable and dozens of schools and businesses were closed. More than 4,000 homeowners statewide were evacuated and shelters in 10 counties took in more than 400 people, officials said.
The Delaware was an equal opportunity destroyer: Houses worth half a million dollars were just as inundated with floodwaters as tiny ranch homes and capes down the road. Officials expected the river to drop back to below flood level Tuesday.
"It was like someone was taking a squeegee and just pushing the water forward," said Bertram King, 20.
In New Jersey, officials requested the state be declared a federal disaster area. If granted, federal benefits, including low-interest loans, would become available for residents and business owners.
About 3,500 in the state were evacuated from their homes. Codey estimated that property damage would approach $30 million, about the same amount caused by remnants of Hurricane Ivan (search) that swept through the state in September.
Codey barred nonessential state workers from Trenton on Monday. The Statehouse, a stone's throw from the Delaware River, felt the effects with 6 feet of water in the lower level of its parking garage.
Despite the flooding, the National Weather Service (search) estimated New Jersey received a total of only 2 to 4 inches of rain over the weekend. But water levels had already been high from previous rains, and melting snow from New York contributed heavily to the flooding.
Latoyra Taylor, 20, was in the process of moving out of her family's home in Trenton, N.J., and into her own apartment when the rain began. As she stood behind a police line with other evacuated neighbors, all she could do was think of what was left behind.
"Everything that meant something is in the basement," she said.