Fall River flooding woes

By: Melissa Randall



The city of Fall River was flooded with calls Wednesday about severe weather the day earlier. It's all dried up now, but many drivers and residents were caught up in that flash flooding.

“You could actually come out in the middle of the road and go swimming. Honest to God,” said Jen Marley who lives on Globe Street.

It's an all too familiar problem in the area, and residents are fed up. City officials tell ABC6 News this particular storm was too fast and intense for the sewer system to keep up.

“If we get 1 point 2 inches of rain over a 4 hour period it's not an issue for us. We get that in 15 minuets it's a huge issue,” said Terry Sullivan, Administrator of Community Utilities for Fall River.

Several streets had to be temporarily shut down and traffic detoured. But once the storm passed, the water quickly receded. Sullivan says the problem is more complicated than it may appear.

“With a rainfall like this it's not simply cleaning a catch basin its replacing the 24 inch pipe with the 60 inch diameter or 72 inch diameter pipe. Each of these projects costs millions of dollars,” he explained.

Fall River is looking into updating old storm and sewer infrastructure. The price tag for the entire city is estimated at $1.5 billion. A draft of that plan is still about a year away, according to Sullivan.

© WLNE-TV 2015