Massachusetts officials closed schools, businesses and City Hall in Taunton, located about 35 miles south of Boston, because of concern that a dam may burst and unleash a wall of water as high as six feet. The 100-year-old Whittenton Pond dam may buckle after about nine inches of rain fell in the city since the beginning of the month, according to a statement on the Internet site of the National Weather Service.
"This is an extremely dangerous and life threatening situation," according to a weather service flash flood warning for the area issued at 4:35 a.m. The Boston area office for the weather service is based in Taunton, Bloomberg says.
Taunton Mayor Robert Nunes declared a state of emergency and about 2,000 residents were evacuated, the Associated Press reported Monday. Taunton has a population of 56,000 and is the county seat for Bristol County, the sixth-largest in the state.
The privately owned dam is built across the Mill River and forms 274-acre Sabbatia Lake.
"I've got my fingers crossed this thing will be able to hold," Governor Mitt Romney, who toured the area this morning, said in a televised interview on WCVB-TV, Boston's ABC affiliate. "There is every prospect that it will give way and we will have a very significant water event."
Presidential candidate Ksenia Sobchak, who was accredited for the press conference by Vladimir Putin from Dozhd (Rain) television channel, asked Putin about competition at the coming election
On December 14, President Putin holds his annual Q&A session with Russian and foreign journalists. This conference is considered to be the beginning of his presidential campaign