Relentless rain floods roads, opens up sinkholes

Mario Reis waded out to storm drains on Wentworth Ave. in Lowell.

David L Ryan/Globe

Mario Reis waded out to storm drains on Wentworth Avenue in Lowell.

Rainstorms that poured through the weekend caused flooding, traffic tie-ups, and sinkholes across the state, officials said Monday.

Lowell had flooding on Wentworth Avenue Monday morning. The street was covered with about 4 feet of water, city officials said.


Water on the street ordinarily drains into a wetland nearby, said Mark Young, executive director of the Lowell Wastewater Utility.

This runoff then filters into underground drains, which appear to have been blocked by a beaver dam, said Young.

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Deputy Fire Chief Robert Flynn said the road was cleared by the end of the day.

Three homes on the block were flooded, including one that had 2 feet of water in its garage, said Flynn.

“We had to shut off the utility at that property,” said Flynn. “And the rest had water in the basement we had to pump out.”


Amanda Rodriguez, a resident on the street, said her neighbor’s basement was filled with water.

“The firefighters are out there, and the water is up to their waists,” she said in a telephone interview. “There is a lot of water.”

Police and firefighters responded to the area.

About 6 p.m. Sunday a large sinkhole in Chelmsford forced police to close roads and caused traffic to back up, said Chief James Murphy.

“This is the first one of its size I can remember,” he said. “It is severe.”

The hole, on Boston Road in the area of Brian Road, formed when an underground drain backed up and caused water pressure to build, said Murphy.

Eventually, the water burst through the ground, causing the sinkhole, he said.

Police have closed off the road and implemented detours until the hole is fixed. Police expect it to be repaired Thursday.

Murphy said he was not sure how much the repairs would cost.

The town of Fairhaven experienced severe flooding over the weekend, said Sergeant Kevin Kobza.

“We’ve had up to 2 feet of water in some areas,” he said.

By Monday morning, most of the flooding had dissipated, but the ground was “still super-saturated,” said Kobza.

The National Weather Service issued flood warnings for much of the state and several coastal flood advisories.

Acushnet had the highest amount of rainfall, 5.48 inches, the National Weather Service said.

New Bedford had 5.1 inches and Dighton 4.75 inches.

Jacqueline Tempera can be reached at jacqueline.tempera
. Follow her on twitter @jacktemp.
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