Storm-Damaged Richmond Declares Emergency; Roads Washed Out in Cheshire
|Wednesday night's severe rainstorm swamped roads in Richmond and other parts of the county.|
RICHMOND, Mass. — Richmond called a state of emergency Thursday morning after Wednesday night's storm destroyed numerous roads — including the collapse of parts of West and Swamp roads.
"The condition of many of the roads right now is a public safety concern," said Town Administrator Matthew Kerwood.
Highway crews worked overnight and overtime trying to repair the roads to a passable level. Luckily, Kerwood says all residents have access to and from their properties. However, he is asking residents to be cautious when driving on the impacted surfaces.
"Swamp Road is severely undermined ... West Road is unpassable," Kerwood said. "We're working right now to get the most severely impacted roads re-opened."
With staff working overtime to make the emergency repairs, the state of emergency declaration gives the state the reasoning to allow them to overspend the highway budget.
"Clearly the resources to get the roads back up, passable and open is going to require more money than we have left in our road account," Kerwood said.
Further, Kerwood said the declaration opens the door for state aid in the repairs. He said state Sen. Benjamin Downing has already reached out to the town.
The roads impacted are many of the same that were damaged during a storm five years ago. Particularly affected areas include where the water runs under the road through culverts.
"We were probably one of the most impacted communities," Kerwood said, adding that estimates has shown around 5 inches of rain had fallen.
Adding to the damage, the town had been surprised by the storm and had not done any sandbagging or other preparations.
"We kind of got caught off guard on this," Kerwood said, adding that forecasts didn't show as severe of a storm. "It ended up being worse that we thought."
In Cheshire, Route 116 from Henry Wood Road to Stewart White Road has been closed and detour signs put up.
Damage could also be seen along Sandmill Road, where cones were placed to warn drivers of the heavily washed out areas. In some areas, the road dropped off and guard rail support beams were completely exposed. Windsor Road was blocked because of a section of the road was completely washed out.
Adams Town Administrator Jonathan Butler posted that "Adams is working cooperatively with Cheshire on detours, etc."
Tags: bad weather, road work, storm damage, T-storm,