As a widespread storm system swept over the East this past weekend, many states including Massachusetts were experiencing roadway flooding. The National Weather Service issued a flash flood advisory for several Massachusetts counties Sunday which included Bristol, Middlesex, Plymouth and Worcester counties. Torrential rainfall stranded several drivers on Route 18 in New Bedford this past weekend. That roadway was closed down for several hours Sunday morning as it was completely overcome by several feet of flood water. In Waltham, a large sink hole oped up on Wyman Street to close that roadway. An even bigger sinkhole measuring 10 x 20 feet opened on Boston Road in Chelmsford when a culvert gave way during the rainstorm Saturday night. That section of roadway is expected to remain closed for several days until the damage can be repaired.
Heavy rainfall is expected to continue soaking the Boston area overnight Sunday into Monday to raise flooding concerns for the area. Forecasters are warning that the rainfall may pick up in intensity at times and that the rain could even turn to sleet, snow or a wintery mix just in time for Monday morning’s commute. The NWS has a winter weather advisory in effect until just before noon on Monday for the greater Boston area as well as for portions of New Hampshire as freezing rain, sleet and snow may total more than one inch in that region.
The NWS has also issued a flood watch for western and coastal Maine that will remain in effect throughout the day on Monday. This watch was posted because astronomical high tides combined with high gusting winds could easily cause flooding along Maine’s coast. The weather service also has a flood watch in effect for the Portland area as that city was being pounded by heavy rainfall this weekend. In addition to the rain that’s coming down in Maine, the snow is melting to raise flooding concerns for much of the state. That state’s largest rivers – the Saco, Androscoggin and Kennebec are all expected to reach flood stage on Monday.
The biggest threat facing Maine is the 2 inches of expected rainfall along with the snowmelt and poor drainage of storm drains blocked with ice. The water simply won’t have anywhere to go. Officials in the state are warning motorists to be watchful for deep pools of water on roads early this week and especially near culverts and storm drains.