Rain, rain, go away ... I still haven't pumped out my basement yet.

That could be the lament of residents and business owners in low-lying areas throughout the Merrimack Valley and Southern New Hampshire over the next 24 hours as heavy downpours are predicted to bring more flooding to the region.

Yesterday, the National Weather Service issued a flood warning running from 2 p.m. yesterday to after midnight tomorrow.

The Merrimack, Spicket and Shawsheen rivers are all expected to reach flood stage, although they won't reach the record levels set by the storm that slammed into the region a week ago when some 10 inches of rain fell in three days.

During this storm, 2 to 3 inches of rain is expected, although it will drain into already swollen lakes, rivers and streams that, in some cases, had just started receding when the latest rain struck.

According to the National Weather Service, the Shawsheen River will reach the 7-foot flood stage by 2 a.m. tomorrow, affecting low-lying areas along the river from Wilmington through Lawrence.

During the storm last week, the Shawsheen reached 10.6 feet at the measuring station in Wilmington, about an inch above the record. That caused flooding in much of Shawsheen Square in Andover and around the Route 114/495 interchange in Lawrence and North Andover.

The Spicket River, meanwhile, is supposed to reach flood stage of 8 feet tonight. This will lead to water backing up behind the Hampshire Road bridge at the Methuen/Salem, N.H., line. In Lawrence, it could lead to flooding of the Willow and Myrtle streets area, as well as onto Spruce Street around the bridge.

Schofield Park could once again be inundated, and floodwater could reach Saratoga Street, according to the National Weather Service's flood watch Web site.

During the last storm, the river reached nearly 10 feet, flooding out the same neighborhoods and forcing the evacuation of about 20 multifamily homes.

The Merrimack River also is under flood warning. As of 8 a.m. yesterday, the river at the measuring station in Lawrence was at 17.1 feet, but is predicted to rise to at least 22.6 feet by tomorrow afternoon.

Flood stage is 20 feet, meaning there could be some lowland flooding that may affect some businesses along the river that are susceptible to basement flooding, according to the National Weather Service.

In Haverhill, the river is expected to be about 11.5 feet as of 2 p.m. today, and to rise to nearly 16 feet by tomorrow morning.


Material from Associated Press was used in this story.

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