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Severe Weather Batters Nation

After deadly storms dumped rain from the Midwest to New England and knocked out power to thousands across the South, the fight against the weather was at its most furious in this tiny Iowa town Wednesday.

With the Nishnabotna River rising at about a foot each hour this morning, more than half of the 1,250 residents of Hamburg, Iowa, were asked to leave their homes. Some National Guard troops quit sandbagging to go door-to-door with warnings.

About 200 people refused to leave.

"This is where we've got to hold it, but water is coming up real fast," said Rich Miller, the city water superintendent who spent much of the morning throwing sandbags along a bridge at the edge of town.

In Red Oak, Iowa, about 50 homes were damaged by flood waters. Scores of residents had to be evacuated from a trailer park in Shenandoah. And New Market's 512 residents were left without drinking water because floods destroyed rural water lines.

At least nine people have been killed by violent weather across the eastern half of the country since Sunday. Six died in Massachusetts, while lightning was blamed for deaths in both Maryland and Michigan. A Norfolk, Va., woman was crushed in her back yard Tuesday, killed by a tree knocked over in a thunderstorm.

Thunderstorms toppled trees and power lines across Georgia, knocking out electricity to more than 200,000 homes and businesses.

More than 10,000 people in Frederick, Maryland lost power during Tuesday's storms. Almost half of those residents had restored electricity by Wednesday.

Showers and thundershowers swept across central and southern New Hampshire on Tuesday, bringing fresh downpours to areas already soaking after a weekend deluge.

Gov. Jeanne Shaheen declared an emergency to mobilize state resources, including the National Guard, because of rising water in swollen streams.

Soggy weather lingered in Maine, where state officials were assessing damage to shellfish and crops from the rain.

The unforgiving weather also hit the West Coast, bringing high winds to Sacramento, Calif. Trees were uprooted, damaging property and some electrical wires.

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