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Crews in Dublin working on washed-out roads

By DOUG ALDEN
New Hampshire Union Leader

August 20. 2018 12:39AM

Crews work to repair a road shoulder that washed out during flash flooding. (DUBLIN POLICE)

DUBLIN — Highway crews in Dublin continued working Sunday to open the last of several roads damaged by extensive flooding caused by heavy rains Friday night.

Fire Chief Tom Vanderbilt, who is also the town’s emergency management director, said that Old Marlborough Road remained closed but crews hoped to have it passable by Sunday night.

“The Highway Department has gone above and beyond. They called in some local contractors and they’ve been able to get some amazing road restoration done,” Vanderbilt said. “They’re going to have to go back and fine-tune it, but at least we’re going to be able to access everybody in town by the end of today.”

Vanderbilt said the flooding was the worst many town residents said they’ve ever seen, washing out culverts and road shoulders throughout town. Floodwaters damaged a portion of Route 101, which the state Department of Transportation had open again by Saturday night.

Although there were no injuries, many homes in the area were damaged by the flooding.

“You could have gone white water rafting down some of the streets. It was pretty scary,” Vanderbilt said. “We must have had a cloud that stalled over us.”

Dublin was part of an area under a tornado warning issued by the National Weather Service on Friday night. Vanderbilt said the town was fortunate a tornado never materialized or the damage could have been considerably worse.

Michael Ekster, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Gray, Maine, said Dublin received about five inches of rain in the storm Friday.

“It was compounded by the fact that they have a decent amount of terrain there,” Ekster said Sunday. “That type of water can’t soak into the ground and it becomes runoff. And that’s how you get that flash flooding.”

Ekster said Cheshire and Hillsborough counties took the brunt of the storm, which also toppled trees and took out power lines in the region.

Once the storm cleared out, Vanderbilt said road crews got right to work.

East Harrisville, Cobb Meadow and Gerry roads were closed for a time as crews worked to clear debris and repair damage caused by the flooding, he said. Although all were expected to be open by the end of Sunday, Vanderbilt said crews will still be doing repairs this week.

“They’ll be sticking with it the rest of the week to add gravel and just fine-tune it,” Vanderbilt said. “It’s going to be a little snug until they’ve filled up all the washouts.”

Vanderbilt said August has already been the wettest on record in Dublin.

“We were pretty well saturated before we had that real soak,” Vanderbilt said. “There was just no time to soak in.”

Ekster said New Hampshire appears to be getting a break from the weather this week. He said showers and thunderstorms are likely Tuesday night into Wednesday, but nothing as powerful as last week’s storm appears to be headed this way.

“Aside from Tuesday night and Wednesday, it should be a fairly dry week,” Ekster said.

dalden@unionleader.com


Public Safety Dublin