Councilors Pledge Help for Flood-prone Burrage Avenue

September 26, 2018

Leominster city councilors on Monday pledged to help the residents along Burrage Avenue who have periodically experienced flooding over the last year or so. SENTINEL & ENTERPRISE FILE PHOTO Sentinel and Enterprise staff photos can be ordered by visiting our SmugMug site.

By Peter Jasinski

pjasinski@sentinel andenterprise.com

LEOMINSTER -- City councilors are assuring residents that action will be taken to address the recent increase of flooding in the area of Burrage Avenue, which left some backyards under several feet of water during last week’s storms.

“It’s a situation that exists and could happen at any time,” Ward 1 Councilor Gail Feckley said during Monday night’s council meeting. “It’s not just a little bit of water. It’s flooding coming over the stonewalls.”

The storm that diverted water into multiple yards and basements around Burrage Avenue on Sept. 18 was not the first to cause such damage this year, and Feckley said she has been in communication with other local officials on what can be done.

“There was a meeting with the Board of Health, fire, police, the mayor, conservation, and DPW,” she said. “It might not be an easy fix and it could be an expensive fix, but they’re going to look into it and try to do as much as possible to alleviate part of the water issue down there.”

City Public Works Director Ray Racine said last week that a consultant has been hired to study the area where flooding has become a problem and come up with a design to address it.

Feckley said Monday, “I think the major issue is the drainage pipes don’t have the capacity to take up all the water as it comes down that way. So that’s probably the main issue.”

The close proximity of the Monoosnock Country Club, which abuts several Burrage Avenue properties, was also discussed by councilors.

“They seem to be cooperating as much as possible. For example, they were in communication with the conservation director that they would empty their detention pond before it rained the other day, but even with that, they still received a tremendous amount of rain,” she said.

At-large Councilor Claire Freda recalled the golf course having removed a drainage pipe several years ago and questioned whether that had led to the increase of flooding in surrounding neighborhoods.

“It seems to have gotten worse after that,” said Freda.

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