Timely DPW Action heads off another
flood in Church Street area
This is as far as the old King Street Brook got this time. You can see its forward edge in the lower photograph. It was headed for Church Street again, but never got further than the foot of State. The DPW diverted it there into two sewer openings at the mouth of the bike trail. The next morning they were berming up one of the back yards on lower State Street for further protection.
You would have been proud of our Northampton Department of Public Works the night of the rainstorm. They were standing out there in the driving rain, all rigged out in yellow slickers and boots working in the driving rain. Ned Huntley and our chief engineer Jim Lauria and a lot of other DPW people were out on the bike trail and workers were at the foot of State Street, and out sandbagging the bank of the brook which was running right at the top of its newly reconstructed banks.
Did the work in June keep the Barrett Street brook in its assigned course? The answer was yes and no. Because of the dredging and strengthening of the banking, the great bulk of the storm surge went where it was supposed to, into the marsh, but despite some sandbagging of the bank, the creek still topped the bank further upstream, and turned the back yards along Stoddard Street into a lake. The water back there has become a permanent fixture.
Downstream, the water in Barrett Swamp coursed across Barrett Street, and flooded back yards by what used to be Hampden Gardens. More work needs to be done to open up the channel or else we going to have these emergencies all the time.
Water crossing Barrett Street