With rain ahead, crews clear storm drainsBy PAUL FEELY
New Hampshire Union Leader
January 10. 2018 9:09PM
MANCHESTER — With heavy rain expected later this week, public works crews are busy clearing snow from city streets in areas prone to flooding.
Deputy Public Works Director Tim Clougherty said snow removal efforts are expected to continue through the week, especially in areas of the city that have experienced flooding during past storms.
“They’ve been pretty busy across the city, clearing catch basins,” said Clougherty. “We don’t expect a lot of flooding, but we want to get them clear. When the rain starts, if people start to notice flooding, call. We’ll get out there.”
Milder weather has settled in across New Hampshire after last week’s Nor’easter dumped over a foot of snow in most locations. Temperatures could reach the 40s and 50s by Friday, according to the National Weather Service in Gray, Maine, causing widespread melting — followed by rain.
The forecast calls for rain to begin Friday morning, in time for part of the morning commute. The rain could be heavy at times, raising concerns for flooding. More rain is expected Friday night into Saturday, followed by colder temperatures.
In total, forecasters say 1.7 inches of rain could fall in the Manchester area by Saturday night.
Last week’s deep freeze and this week’s short-term thaw have contributed to burst pipes and water mains in communities around the state. Manchester Water Works Director Phil Croasdale said crews have wrapped up repairs at the corner of Jane and Lowell streets, where a 12-inch pipe ruptured and released a torrent of water that filled eight basements and forced evacuations on Sunday.
Croasdale said water service was restored to all affected around 1 a.m. Monday. Residents were allowed to return home after spending Sunday night with family, friends or at an emergency shelter set up by the American Red Cross.
School officials said cold temperatures caused a pipe to burst at Manchester High School West. Principal Rick Dichard said a pipe burst last Friday in room 205. Rooms 106 and 107 were also damaged.
School officials have closed down one of the wings of the building on the first floor for approximately five weeks. A total of seven classrooms will be affected.
“Three of the rooms in that wing will be back up and running in two weeks,” said Dichard. “The good news is that we have plenty of space to relocate these classrooms and have begun that process. There will be minimal disruption to students.”
According to the school district, there is no health risk.
Croasdale said his department has been busy responding to water main breaks since mid-December, including a six-inch main that broke Wednesday in Goffstown. “It’s not that uncommon,” said Croasdale. “We’ve responded to and repaired about 15 in the last three weeks, but only the big ones make the news.”