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Originally published Tuesday, February 26, 2013 at 6:08 AM

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Macedonia flooding kills 1, leaves homes inundated

Extensive flooding has hit Macedonia after three days of heavy rain, leaving one man dead, bridges wiped out and homes and fields inundated Tuesday.

The Associated Press

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SKOPJE, Macedonia —

Extensive flooding has hit Macedonia after three days of heavy rain, leaving one man dead, bridges wiped out and homes and fields inundated Tuesday.

Police said a 51-year-old man drowned in the northern town of Kumanovo after being swept away Monday while trying to cross a river. His body was discovered Tuesday by rescue crews in the mountainous Balkan nation.

Roughly 300 homes were flooded in the village of Josifovo, 100 kilometers (60 miles) south of the capital of Skopje. Hundreds more houses and commercial buildings were inundated in the southern village of Dabile, where the fire brigade was evacuating elderly residents.

The central Pistica dam was described as being in a "critical" situation, with authorities concerned it could collapse. Nearby, thousands of hectares (acres) of fields were flooded and 20,000 people were without electricity in the town of Sveti Nikole, the National Crisis Management Center said.

A swollen river swept away two bridges in the central part of the country, stranding a village of 1,500 people, while rockslides in several parts of eastern Macedonia blocked roads. Authorities also urged the 40,000 residents in the central town of Stip not to drink tap water due to the contamination of wells by floods.

Meteorologists said the rain would not stop until Thursday.

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