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What's the Deal with Repeated Flooding on Forrester Street?

Ward 2 Councilor Michael Sosnowski filled us in on the continuing dialogue between the city and neighborhood on the issue.

Next month, it will be a year since Salem , and the city and one neighborhood are still in constant dialogue about the state of the water situation.

Many streets were inundated, but . Cars, furnaces and hot water heaters were destroyed.

, but despite the City's efforts to keep the water at bay on the street, it keeps coming.

, a quick thunderstorm moved quickly through Salem, but Forrester Street was inundated.
, severe weather moved in and Forrester Street was flooded until the came and cleared storm drains.

In an effort to work with the neighborhood, Ward 2 City Councilor
Michael Sosnowski and City Engineer Dave Knowlton met with residents at the on Aug. 27 in an effort to discuss the challenges the neighborhood faces.

Sosnowski filled us in on the meeting and told us "in spite of personal frustrations they [the residents] were all very calm and were trying to find reasonable answers to the problems" in an effort to improve a situation that has "gotten worse over the past few years."

Here are some key takeaway points from the meeting, according to Sosnowski, to give you a look at what life is like on this street when the water comes in and how dialogue is moving along:

  • According to Sosnowski, approximately 40 people who are directly impacted when "serious rain events occur" were in attendance at the August meeting.
  • Items lost by residents include replaceable items and some irreplaceable items like family photos.
  • Sosnowski said Knowlton and other city employees talked about "physical improvements that have been made and those that are being contemplated. This included the intercepting of contributing drainage systems that all lead to the low point on Forrester Street."
  • There was discussion about an alert system so that residents can get their vehicles out of harm's way during a water event. An early warning would be directed at those "historically hurt by these events," including residents on other streets like Jefferson Avenue, Sosnowski said. The councilor said the discussion about providing warning was focused on the entire city.
  • Conversation also addressed resident parking on Forrester and Emerton streets "so that when residents have to move their vehicles out of harm’s way, there will be a place to put them," Sosnowski said. The councilor said a petition is in the works for this.
  • Sosnowski also said long-range options were discussed, and while there are "hopes for more interceptors," the councilor said money is an issue in bringing certain flood mitigation equipment and options to the area.
  • The councilor said there are plans to meet with the community again soon to discuss progress and flooding issues in the area.

Do you have repeated flooding in your neck of the woods? Be sure to share you experience in the comments.

Diane Wolf September 10, 2012 at 10:20 PM
After the months-long construction on Becket Street - I expected to see some relief for my neighbors on Forrester Street. From where I'm sitting, however, it appears that a great deal of money was spent and many Becket St. Derby St. and Essex St. residents were inconvenienced with zero relief for the folks on Forrester. Someone, somewhere, should be accountable for this - no?
windpower September 10, 2012 at 10:49 PM
DUH Most of these areas are filled tidal flats .
Diane Wolf September 10, 2012 at 11:28 PM
Thanks, windpower.
Deb September 11, 2012 at 02:21 AM
I'd love to know why Becket St took so long. "Don't kill the job?" Some friends there also wound up having a hazmat situation due to a broken pipe. Bridge St II, seemingly, given the time it took. I'm not aware of whether the B St work was related to Forrester, though.
Deb September 11, 2012 at 02:24 AM
No doubt; but I don't ever remember, for instance, the intersection of Derby and Congress flooding like it has over the last few years. Maybe they should start looking at subsidence as a contributing cause.

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