Early morning flooding hammers area towns

Greven Field in Cavendish flooded early this morning. Photo provided.

By Shawn Cunningham
©2019 Telegraph Publishing LLC

Overnight rains and melting snows combined on Monday morning to cause flooding and close roads throughout the area. Luckily, it was also the first day of the spring break for local schools.

At 6:24 a.m., a Weston firefighter asked the Keene Mutual Aid dispatcher to tone fire department members to help with flooding at the station as the West River jumped its banks and poured out onto Rt. 100 north of the village.

Weston Market owner Jeff Borhek points to where the water reached at the height of the flooding. All photos by Shawn Cunningham unless otherwise noted

According to Weston Market owner Jeff Borhek, when he arrived at his store – just south of the fire station – at 5:30 a.m. the river was high, but just still within its banks.

By 6:30 a.m. though, water was advancing into the parking spaces in front of the store, climbing up the side of his dumpsters and coming a bit too close to the store’s generator.

Borhek called his wife to say the store was about to be flooded, but by 7:40 a.m. the water was beginning to recede and his building was untouched.

The West River moving across the Garden Market parking lot and onto Rt. 11

Down the street at the Weston Playhouse, waves were lapping well up onto the back lawn but were not reaching the building.

In Londonderry, at about 8 a.m., Melvin Twitchell, a South Londonderry firefighter and Weston Postmaster, was trying valiantly to keep cars from driving though the 8-to 10-inch deep standing water between the Mike and Tammy’s and Jelley’s convenience store.

“The trucks can make it, but I don’t want a car stuck out there,” said Twitchell as he flagged down a car at the opposite end of the water and signaled for the driver to turn around.

The Mill Pond spills onto Rt. 11 just east of Middletown Road.

The water was deepest in front of The Garden complex of stores, gallery and restaurant as the river washed across the parking lot and into the street. The Garden was among Londonderry’s hard hit casualties of Irene in 2011.

Twitchell said the Post Offices in Weston and Londonderry wouldn’t be opened until things settled down a bit.

The town of Londonderry also shut down the Transfer Station on Route 100 between Londonderry and Weston for a short time today.

On the other side of the Memorial Bridge, the Mill Pond was spilling onto Rt. 11 which was closed between Middletown and Derry Woods Roads.

The West River at South Londonderry, the fire station is on the left

For a time, Rt. 100 between Londonderry and South Londonderry was one lane as the river sent waves onto the road. But as the river level dropped, a few cones were set out to alert drivers to the debris left behind.

At 8:30 a.m., the West River in South Derry was just below the foundation of the Champion Fire Station but the rain had stopped and firefighters were hopeful that the river had crested.

On the Black River

Cavendish Gulf Road was impassable between Rt. 103 in Chester and the Cavendish village as a railroad underpass had flooded and the road was being washed out in places. On the east side of Cavendish, the Black River was rising rapidly and threatening to wash over the bridge at Carlton Road.

A flooded railroad underpass on Cavendish Gulf Road

Acting Cavendish Fire Chief Abe Gross told The Telegraph that the river had risen about 3 feet between 6:30 and 9:30 a.m. Gross said that the second homeowners in the house at the far end if the bridge were getting ready to leave as the water rose on their lawn.

And while Greven Field and many nearby parking lots and back yards had water, the Cold River Bridges company continued to demolish the Depot Street Bridge in Proctorsville.

Cresting waters come close to hitting the bridge span on Carlton Road

In Ludlow, Rt. 103 from Pleasant Street to Black River High School was closed with water still running across the street in two places at 10:20 a.m. Flood waters surrounded the Timber Inn Motel at one end and the mobile home park at the other. While the mobile homes sit up on concrete blocks and didn’t flood, a number of older residents who could not make it through the flood were carried out in the bucket of a front-end loader, according to a Ludlow firefighter on the scene.

Also flooded were the athletic fields across from the Fletcher Farm buildings on Rt. 103.

A flooding irony

The morning after any rain, the parking lot of the Post Office in Chester normally sports a small, deep lake. Last week M&M Excavating did extensive drain work and today the lot was dry.

More photos

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