Rains Leave Streets Flooded

Friday, October 6, 2017
By Transcript Staff

By Sue Ellen Woodcock

A stalled car, stranded on Putnam Street due to floodwaters.

Winthrop got hit with a one-two punch this past weekend, with torrential rain that caused epic flooding on Saturday and a massive power outage most of Sunday.

The deluge began Saturday morning around 8 a.m. Just as a higher than usual high tide was settling in, Mother Nature unleashed up to four inches of rain in just over an hour. The result was the creation of a few deep ponds in the Winthrop Center area. At Putnam and Jefferson Streets the water was up to four feet deep and actually floated a couple of cars down the street. Firefighters and police made their ways to seemingly abandoned vehicles but in some found waterlogged drivers.

Some of the flooded streets were Walden, Putnam, Jefferson, Bartlett, Crest Avenue. Residents all around low lying areas found themselves pumping out basements, and seeing if submerged cars still worked.

Motor vehicles were stuck on Putnam Street, Walden Street and Crest Avenue. The basement was flooded at Governor’s Park resulting in a shutdown of electricity.

At 8:03 a.m. there was a report of vehicle and the driver being trapped in the flood waters of Crest Avenue. Firefighters, DPW and police went to the corner of Winthrop Street and Madison Avenue for an electrical issue. Several cars trapped in water were towed when the waters receded

“I left the gym earlier in the morning and I know this was going to be bad,” said Fire Chief James Flanagan. “Then I saw Morton Street flood and the Larson rink with two feet of water in front go the door. By 1 p.m. most of the streets had cleared.

The fire department received 53 calls for emergency service that morning. Flanagan added that 12 homes had to be pumped out and had anywhere from six inches to four feet of water.

To make matters worse on Sunday, more than half of Winthrop lost power for hours on Sunday. National Grid representatives said that 3,807 households were without power from around 7:30 a.m. to about 2:30 p.m. with the height of the outages reaching 4,300 customers.

Many were upset they were missing the Patriots football game, others complained about perishable food.

“It was a busy 24-hours for the crew. I give them a lot of credit,” the chief said.

DPW crews also were out much of the weekend during the historic rainfall.

DPW Director Steve Calla said the town’s elevation is the culprit for the flooding. Crews found themselves closing streets and clearing catch basins of leaves and other material.

“We were also monitoring the tide gate at Lewis Lake,” Calla said. “And we monitored the sewer pumping station.”

According to National Grid, the power failure was caused by a malfunctioning underground cable caused during the torrential rain on Saturday morning.

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