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Western Mass. Dealing With Major Flooding After Irene

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Flooding, Disaster

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GREENFIELD (CBS/AP) – Gov. Deval Patrick on Monday toured Greenfield in Franklin County, one of the hardest hit areas of the state, where homes, roads and even a bridge were washed away by raging waters caused by up to eight inches of rain from Tropical Storm Irene.

Patrick said 15 teams will spread across Massachusetts to assess damage left by Irene.

Irene hit landfall in the U.S. as a hurricane last week, but had weakened to a tropical storm by the time its center passed through the western part of the state on Sunday afternoon.

“We feel very fortunate that Irene lost some of her strength, but very little of her size, as it came through Massachusetts,” Patrick said.

WBZ-TV’s Kate Merrill reports on major flooding in Vermont

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Ben Parker reports from Greenfield.

Irene’s heavy rains caused the Deerfield River to rise rapidly, forcing officials to evacuate streets in Shelburne and Buckland, while Greenfield officials evacuated a 120-unit assisted living facility.

Nearby, state police shut down a section of Interstate 91 between Greenfield and Sunderland because of rising local waters. In Westfield, low-lying neighborhoods were evacuated amid concerns about flooding from the swollen Westfield River.

(TM and © Copyright 2010 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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