As the ice and snow that have accumulated over the past couple of weeks slowly melt, and a deluge of rain approaches, local residents will face a new set of challenges in the coming days.
Boston is likely to get 2 inches to 2 1/2 inches of rain Friday, with isolated higher totals, and more than 3 inches could fall south of the city, according to Bill Simpson, a National Weather Service meteorologist.
The rain will help melt accumulated snow, Simpson said, and could lead to “a lot of poor-drainage urban street flooding.” Area residents should clean street drains if they can, and watch out for clogged drains and deep puddles on roadways, he added.
Then, he said, the temperature will drop significantly.
“By Sunday morning, you’ll be into the mid-20s, and even colder for the suburbs,” he said, with temperatures 5 to 10 degees colder than seasonal averages continuing for much of the week.
Pipes now recovering from the long deep-freeze may have further issues as they warm up, portions expand at different rates, and sections that cracked during the frigid cold loosen up. The MBTA and many communities across the region have reported water main breaks and pipes bursting.
If it happens in your home, try to shut off the flow of water at its source as quickly as possible, then call a plumber. If there is no water flowing into the home or there appears to be any issue outside the structure, the Boston Water and Sewer Commission has a 24-hour emergency hotline at 617-989-7000.
The Department of Fire Services encourages residents to dig out fire hydrants — if they can do so safely — any time they are shoveling sidewalks, driveways, or other areas. The Water and Sewer Commission encourages Boston residents to enter their address on its hydrant and catch basin locator map and find the one nearest them to make sure it is clear.
“Clear catch basins help prevent local flooding during wet weather,” said Nicole Kieser, a commission spokeswoman, in an e-mail.
Residents also can help municipal workers clear crosswalks and wheelchair ramps, Mayor Martin J. Walsh said Wednesday morning on WBZ NewsRadio 1030.
“We do have machinery going out every day, clearing handicap ramps as best we can,” Walsh said in the radio appearance. “But if you could clear the crosswalks on your street or your corner, that would be helpful.”
Walsh also reminded city dwellers that the 48-hour rule was in effect for parking space savers, giving residents two full days after the end of a snow emergency to use an object to save a space. The 48 hours was up at 5 p.m. Sunday, so trash crews are picking up any remaining space savers, the mayor said.Jeremy C. Fox can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @jeremycfox.