Cambridge Area Winces After More Rain

Filed in Lifestyle by on March 23, 2010 1 Comment
Pumping Out After Massachusetts Rain Nor'Easter

Pumping Out After Massachusetts Rain Nor'Easter

Many cities and towns in Massachusetts including Cambridge are hoping that today’s rainfall has minimal impact on the damage that was already sustained during and after the last “rain nor’easter”.  Though the rain has let up a little it is supposed to pick up later on.

Cambridge and Waltham have gotten a lot of the attention in the Greater Boston area particularly due to the Alewife area and Waltham’s Moody Street Dam.  North Cambridge which is where Alewife is connects to Arlington and Belmont.  Many Belmont residents had there basements flooded.

It is hard to understand how Cambridge can be so affected by these types of rainstorms.  Even though this was another 100 year storm as they call it we need to assess what changes need to be made in our infrastructure to minimize the impact of these types of storms.  They seem to be happening more and more(whether you believe in Global Warming or not).

The City of Cambridge put together a list of flood resources for anyone who was affected by last weeks storm.  Today’s latest rain shows us that we should not take anything for granted.  The streams and rivers are already high so we still may be impacted even with just a little rain.

Two areas that I think are particularly important are prevention of future flooding and damage to your particular property and the link to the EPA’s Mold Guide.  Mold can easily grow in the damp areas created by even minor leaks in your basement.  It can also become a major health issue particularly for younger children.  I was surprised to find how easy it was to buy your own mold testing kit.  We bought one at the Watertown HomeDepot for under $10.  We are still awaiting the results.

The prevention piece advises:

“If a home is located in an area subject to periodic flooding (such as in a floodplain) or where sewage backups have occurred, the homeowner should implement “all feasible measures” to prevent/minimize the nature and extent of impacts from such situations. Such actions can be preventive or pro-active.

Preventive actions include:

  1. waterproofing the building foundation and/or sealing cracks in foundation floor or walls;
  2. installation of a check valve or shut-off valve on the building sewer close to where it enters the structure, which will protect your home from sewage back-ups due to surcharging conditions in the municipal sewerage system (you must check with the proper sewer authority prior to taking this action!!); and
  3. raising or removing any sink, toilet, washing machine, etc. in the basement that may be subject to backups when the sewer system surcharges.

Pro-active measures include:

  1. purchasing or installing a pump (e.g. sump pump) to pump out water that collects in the low point of the basement or structure;
  2. ensure that building gutter downspouts and drains are directed away from the foundation and toward low points away from the home;
  3. to the extent possible, keep furniture and valuables above flood levels where flooding has previously occurred; and
  4. if minor flooding occurs, follow the water to its point-of-entry and seal cracks or defects to the extent possible.

Remember, an ounce of prevention is worth more than a pound of cure. Flood insurance is also vitally important where properties are known to be in floodplains or flood prone areas.”

I for one have learned my lesson since I have been through at least 2 100 year storms in the last 5 years.

Below are a couple of videos to remind you how bad it can get:

Alewife Area

Charles River in Waltham

An ounce of prevention…

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  1. CambridgeLocal says:

    3-29-10 Time to get ready for more rain!

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