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Swollen rivers begin falling across Northeast

KILLINGTON, Vt. (AP) — Swollen rivers began falling Wednesday in much of the Northeast, easing the flooding that paralyzed parts of the region after Hurricane Irene and allowing emergency crews to reach all but one of the Vermont towns that had been cut off by floodwaters. Receding water revealed more damage to homes, farms and businesses across the flood-scarred landscape. Repair estimates indicated that the storm would almost certainly rank among the nation’s costliest natural disasters, despite packing a lighter punch than initially feared. Of the 11 towns that had been cut off from the outside world, all except tiny Wardsboro had been reached by rescuers, and authorities were hoping to…