Causes of Flooding

2 main causes: Rt. 62 bridge, culvert and raised roadway at Benevento’s.

The bridge is our main problem, Benevento’s filling the road adds to the problem. That filling was recent, (2004) which is why we can get it reversed. Whatever filling in he did in other areas of the wetlands before the wetlands protection act back in the 70’s we can do nothing about. Developers filled in wetlands all over the state. Much of North Reading developments are built on filled in wetlands.

It’s complicated. We have two major problems here:

* the big one – the bridge – just about to go to Town Meeting!
* Benevento – the road raising – under order to be re-lowered.

If anyone can prove that his raising of the road caused them damages, they could sue Benevento’s. Difficult and costy, but they could win. According to what we saw during Mother’s Day, we think his road being raised brought water levels up 8 inches higher than they had in previous floods. Proving it could take years and money we don’t have, so we are better off getting him to lower the road, or better yet, put in a bigger culvert or bridge. Remember, it just raised levels higher, we still would have flooded.

He agreed to put in new huge culverts 2 years ago but some residents from Wilmington made a huge stink, and he retracted his application. However, by that time he already admitted to raising the road, so we got an order for him to lower it, which he has stalled on for now 1+ years.

We are hoping that when we do Rt 62 bridge , he’ll agree to go back to the drawing board and do a new culvert like he agreed to before, or better yet a bridge in there. Right now we want to get the road lowered, then we want him to join us in a more permanent solution that does not involve water going over a roadway.

See you all on April 5th at Town Meeting. This flood is awful but we are very very close to reducing future flooding impacts with replacement of Route 62 Bridge and the road lowering in Beneventos.

Resist the temptation to try to villify any one person. Only a comprehensive approach can fix this. If we did not have the constant support and effort of the Town DPW, FEMA and MEMA and Brad Jones office, we’d never be this close.

Janet Nicosia

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