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Under state of emergency, Mass. fights flooding

Gov. Deval Patrick declared a state of emergency Monday afternoon as cities and towns across the state dealt with the several inches of rain that had fallen in the past three days and rising rivers that posed flood risks.

The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority suspended service on the D branch of the Green Line between Riverside and Reservoir Stations after floodwaters washed out 40 feet of rocky railbed beneath the train tracks, MBTA spokesman Joe Pesaturo said in an email.

T service between Kenmore Square and Fenway, the first stop on the D line, was also halted for six hours Monday while a temporary dam was put in place, Pesaturo said. Shuttle buses replaced the service between all stops encountering problems.

Boston Water and Sewer Commission spokesman Tom Bagley said Boston’s pipes were at full capacity, and because they could not sustain any more water many basements around the city were flooded.

“Some homes even have sewage backing up in their basements,” Bagley said.
At 49 Pratt Street in Allston, Boston University College of Generalsophomore Daniel Graf said the ceiling of his second floor residence had been dripping water onto a printer.

“My basement was completely flooded with several inches of water,”he said.

Logan Airport recorded 6.8 inches of rainfall from the storm as of 5:40 p.m. Monday, according to the National Weather Service website. 25 miles north of Boston, the town of Topsfield recorded 9.3 inches of rainfall. The average rainfall for all of March is 3.7 inches.

The website also contains a report of the damages affecting New England, showing where trees, phone lines, posts and wires have been brought down by the wind and rain.
National Weather Service Meteorologist Eleonor Vallier-Talbot said the storm, unusual in intensity, had been forecasted since last Wednesday and was predicted to end early Tuesday morning.

“Actually, we got more rain than what we predicted because the storm stalled on New England,” Vallier-Talbot said.”It is now slowly moving east.”

But even though the storm is predicted to wane, Vallier-Talbot said the water will probably take longer to drain away.

“The rain will have to drain south, so flooding might still be around for a few days,” she said

Floods are the number one cause of weather-related deaths in the U.S., Vallier-Talbot said. She emphasized safety tips the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency has released, such as not driving through flooded areas and taking all detours possible to avoid puddles.

“It’s very, very dangerous,” she said.

Around 15 storm management crews have been deployed around the city monitoring the storm and its damages to the city, Bagley said.

“In a storm like this we’re doing the best we can,” he said. “There’s no quick fix for this. Hopefully Mother Nature will cooperate and let the systems catch up. We just have to wait for the rain to stop.”

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