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Flood warnings issued for parts of state, but no problems reported yet

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Published on March 7, 2011 in The Boston Globe MetroDesk Blog

-shared byline with Katherine Landergan and Stewart Bishop

The National Weather Service issued flood warnings for parts of Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut today due to a combination of snow melt and a rainy weekend pushing some rivers toward flood stage.

Rebecca Gould, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Taunton, said a flood warning was in effect for all of Worcester County and for several rivers in the Bay State.

The weather service is urging residents along the Nashua, Sudbury, Assabet, Westfield, Shawsheen and Squannacook rivers to keep an eye on the river heights and to keep children away from the river and any nearby culverts.

In a warning issued today, the weather service singled out the Sudbury River near the Saxonville neighborhood in Framingham, the Squannacook River in west Groton, the Assabet River in Maynard, and the Nashua in east Pepperell.

The most significant flooding in the region is expected to come from the Assabet River near Maynard, Gould said, where waters are expected to surge to six feet tomorrow afternoon.

The Weather Service warned the flooding could affect areas along the river from Concord to Hudson and warned that some roadways could be washed out, and properties may have to be evacuated.

Gould warned the flooding of the Assabet could stretch into Thursday, when one to three inches of rain is expected to fall in Southern New England, exacerbating the situation.

“With the possibility of more rain Thursday, I expect it will take a while,” Gould said

Fortunately, most of the flooding in the region is expected to be minor, Gould said.

Peter Judge, spokesman for the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency, said there were no reports of dangerous flood conditions anywhere in the state today.

”There are all sorts of warnings, but fortunately we don’t have any issues at this point,’ Judge said. “We will be monitoring it. … In flooding, fortunately, there is a delay factor.’’

Around the region, local authorities were beginning to grapple with the surging waters.

In Fitchburg, Fire Chief Kevin Roy said his department began responding to calls of flooding basements early this morning. Roy said about half a dozen roads in the area were closed, but said overall the water’s effects were relatively minor.

“We haven’t had any severe washouts at this point,” he said, explaining there have not been any extreme calls yet today.

In Billerica, the Fire Department is “definitely anticipating” flooding to start early Tuesday morning because of water levels in the Shawsheen River, fire officials said.

Judge said people who have chronic flooding concerns in their basements, backyards, or on their street should be alert to the changing conditions, but said conditions were not expected to worsen significantly.

“There is no hot spot or something that we are really concerned about at this point,’’ Judge said.

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Written by jdunccc

March 7, 2011 at 3:20 pm

Posted in MetroDesk Blog, The Boston Globe

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