Mother’s Day Flood of 2006

The 2-day accumulation on 5-13 to 5-14 puts this as a *50-year, 2-day storm.

See Chart (PDF)

What will always be known as the Mother’s Day Flood of 2006 devastated the Martins Pond neighborhood. Over a dozen families had to be evacuated from their homes. Countless others suffered tens of thousands of dollars in damage to first floor living space, loss of boilers and hot water heaters, and basement furnishings. No injuries have been reported.

Burroughs Road was impassable, along with the intersection of Lakeside Boulevard and Burroughs, and also the section of Lakeside Boulevard at the Pumping Station. The emergency access road to Route 125 was opened for the first time since 2001. The North Reading Fire Department patrolled the neighborhood in high water vehicles, helped residents evacuate and shut off dangerous electric power lines with Reading Light. DPW barricaded roadways and graded the emergency access road.

FEMA and MEMA toured the neighborhood on 5/19/06 with Fire Chief David Harlow, the Town Administrator and Assessor. Water levels crested on 5/16 early morning at 79.2 feet above sea level. This is a record flood. Previous high water mark was 78.6 feet above sea level. Readings for Martins Pond are done at the USGS gauge attached to the Burroughs Road bridge. Previous flood record was 78.6 feet which we believe was 1996 or 2001.

Water is receding slowly, about 4 inches per day due in part to the major constriction of flow at the undersized culvert under the Route 62 bridge in Wilmington. In four days since the crest at 79.2, water in Martins Pond has only dropped 1.12 feet. The crest of 79.2 feet represents a flood of 4.7 feet over our normal pond elevation of about 74.5.

The impact of this flood has brought attention to the flow constrictions at the State level. Our DPW Director Dave Hanlon, met with the Governor, FEMA and MEMA on 5/21/06 to discuss our problems and actions needed. State Rep. Brad Jones has been also working on this issue, meeting with representatives at the State to further promote resolution.

There are many stories to share, many wonderful experiences of neighbor helping neighbor, of our great town officials and workers, and stories of heartache and loss. We look forward to recovering and returning to enjoying the usual pleasures of life at the Pond. Please look to the blog for further updates. On behalf of the Martins Pond Reclamation Study Committee, we will continue to dedicate time and effort to improving the situation.

Janet Nicosia
Martins Pond Association
Martins Pond Reclamation Study Committee

 mothersday flood  oakhurst2  oakhurst
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 dans burroughs

Flood Emergency Procedure
Flood Access The Rte 125 emergency access will continue to be used during flood events when Burroughs Rd is closed. Extreme caution should be used on entering and exiting the roadway, and only right hand turns onto 125 are allowed.

MA Emergency Management Agency
Flood Recovery Information and News
MEMA Flood Preparation, Recovery, and Repair
Tips for recovering from the flood and (preparing for another)
FEMA: Recovering From and Coping With Flood Damaged
Recovery tips from FEMA
Filing a claim with FEMA
How to Apply for Assistance
Black Mold Ozone-ator
Flood Clean Up and Black Mold
Army Store clean up kits
online store
Red Cross Flood info

Water Levels/Flooding

The Army Corp of Engineers will use a Hydro-Rake in the Ipswich River at the Martins Pond Bridge on Burroughs Road. They are only going to rake approximately 500 feet down the river and hopefully 10 – 20 feet across, as a part of a pilot program.

They will study what is removed and the effectiveness of removal. The aim here is to widen the river by removing the monstrous Purple Loosestrife root balls and other vegetation, so as to open the river for water flow and perhaps, recreational use such as kayaking and canoeing as well.

The report will be presented to the State Representatives who in turn will apply for an Environmental Bond to continue the raking and opening the river for water drainage in an effort to alleviate flooding. This pilot project is being paid for by the North Reading DPW.

Also being studied, is how large to make the culvert at Benevetto’s. Benevetto has agreed to upgrade a culvert there for greater water flow but what size, pipes, the design, etc. must be determined.

And what to do about the Rte. 62 bridge in Wilmington. Wilmington has not been willing to replace the old bridge so North Reading paid to have the bridge rated and it failed. Hopefully, this will bring the situation to the State’s attention and then, hopefully, the bridge will be replaced with a much larger culvert and/or a better system to prevent the clogging that occurs underneath the bridge that dams the water up in Martins Pond. At the present time, this is the number one problem when it come to flooding on Martins Pond. The culvert under the bridge becomes clogged and backs the water into the pond.

The flood boards located at the bridge are also a problem and meetings with Wilmington have been on going and continue to find a compromise that would benefit both NR (specifically the pond and Wilmington).