Sycamore Lake usually sits a safe 50 feet from Dick and Susan Ross' home just outside Indianapolis.

But when Susan Ross looked out her window Monday, she saw that the lake had crept within 8 inches of the house, and the family was getting ready to go stay with relatives."It's come up before, but not this bad," she said. "There really isn't much I can do about it. I figure instead of getting insane, I'll just pray."

She wasn't alone.

Three days of drenching rain and thunderstorms swelled lakes and rivers and flooded roads from New England to the Midwest. And it could get worse before it gets better.

Authorities in Massachusetts said rain may have been a factor in the death of a motorcyclist who was killed along the rain-slicked roads of Medford, a suburb of Boston, on Monday. Also, a 44-year-old man died after apparently falling into the rain-swelled Eastern Canal in Lowell. The two deaths followed four weather-related deaths in the state Sunday.

Between Friday and Monday, Boston was deluged with nearly 8 inches of rain. More than an inch more fell overnight. Farther north, swollen Maine rivers began receding, although more rain was predicted for the soggy southern and central parts of the state.

In much of the Midwest, the sounds of scraping shovels, pumps and heavy trucks could be heard as residents dealt with the damage from punishing rains.

Six homes in eastern Ohio were evacuated Monday when as much as 3 inches of rain fell in 21/2 hours. The storms packed high winds and lashing rain that knocked down power lines in four counties and flooded streets in Dayton.

In central Indiana, farmers saw their fields become temporary lakes. Flooding and sandbagging began in two counties as rising waters threatened about 50 homes near Terre Haute.

National Guardsmen and volunteers in Waverly, south of Indianapolis, worked through the night filling thousands of sandbags and placing them along the rapidly rising White River. Four homes had been completely surrounded by water by Tuesday morning.

"It's hard, but you know you're saving your neighbors' homes," said resident Tracy Coy.