ny-flood-cp-181908

A car abandoned by its driver sits in water in Collingswood, N.J., on Sunday. ((Tom Mihalek/Associated Press))

Hundreds ofAmericans were evacuated from flooded homes Monday, as a fiercestorm drenched the northeast with record rainfall andknocked out power to hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses.

Nine deaths were blamed on the huge storm.

Washouts, flooding, mudslides and fallen trees blocked roads throughout New York State, as refrigerators, trucks and debris floated downstream. Waves pounded the Atlantic coast, causing boats to sink at their piers in Maine.

Suburbs north of New York City were among the hardest hit.

The rain began early Sunday along the East Coast from Florida to New England and continued into Monday.

Police and firefighters in Mamaroneck, a community north of New York City, spent the night rescuing residents from 60 to 70 homes. More than two dozen National Guard members used trucks and Humvees to help evacuate low-lying sections of the town.

"There was debris flowing down the river like you wouldn't believe — refrigerators, I mean, you name it, it was going down the river," homeowner John Vitro said of the Mamaroneck River.

The rain totalled 21 centimetres in suburban White Plains, N.Y., from early Sunday to Monday morning, with 20centimetres in New York City's Central Park, the U.S. National Weather Service said.

The previous Central Park record for April 15 was just 5 centimetres, set in 1906.

Snow fell in inland areas, including43centimetresin Vermont. Wind gusts of more than 129km/h toppled trees on highways in Maine.

More than 780,000 without power

New York activated 3,200 National Guard members to help with evacuations and New Hampshire sent 200 to hard-hit towns. The Connecticut National Guard supplied amphibious vehicles to the hard-hit southwestern part of the state.

More than 780,000 homes and businesses, from Maine to North Carolina, lost power.

The Public Service Company of New Hampshire said some of its customers could be without power for several days because roads are washed out.

"We have incredible amounts of damage," said Steve Costello, a spokesman for Central Vermont Public Service, describing power lines brought down by high wind. "I've never seen anything like it."

More than 1,400 New Jersey residents were evacuated because of flooding.

One person died in a car stalled in deep water in an underpass in New Jersey, one person was killed by a tornado in South Carolina, and two died in car accidents — one in upstate New York and one in Connecticut.

The same storm was blamed for five deaths earlier in Texas and Kansas.