Manchester, NH Flash Flooding Blamed On Wet Leaves

MANCHESTER, NH (CBS) – A good, autumn rainstorm means a massive, wet mess for Maple Street neighbors in Manchester. Backyards and basements were flooded because the city’s underground water system was blocked by leaves. Homeowners believe the situation is avoidable.

“It’s like white water rapids coming into all our yards and within a span of about an hour you go from no water on the ground to this time about two feet of water,” said Josh Greenstein.

flood2 Manchester, NH Flash Flooding Blamed On Wet Leaves

Flooding in Manchester, NH basement (WBZ-TV)

Neighbors say this flash flooding became a big problem about ten years ago, then it wasn’t so bad for a few years, but this fall and last, the damage has been overwhelming.

“I measured yesterday. I think this time we were 25 inches back here and last year when this happened, I was two inches short of three feet at the deepest point,” Greenstein said.

As the water sloshes around their yards, it pours into the basement – drowning whatever’s left on the floor.

flooding Manchester, NH Flash Flooding Blamed On Wet Leaves

Manchester, NH man shows floodwater level on fence (WBZ-TV)

The Department of Public Works is looking for the best short and long term solutions – including adding catch basins, diverting pipes and improving the grates.

“Within 15 minutes of clearing the catch basins, the catch basins are covered again,” said Public Works Director Kevin Sheppard.

As for this weekend’s storm, neighbors are taking whatever precautions they can to reduce the wreckage. Neighbors say they have also had some close calls in the summer months when there aren’t wet leaves clogging up the catch basins.

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