WALTHAM (CBS) – The remnants of Ida brought so much rain overnight it flooded a parking lot full of school buses in Waltham.
Thirty buses were in the lot on Lexington Street when the manager arrived around 5:30 a.m. Thursday to find them up to their bumpers in water. Drivers were able to get all but eight of them out. Those eight remained stuck because their batteries were under water.
“It was very hectic. But everybody here was great, and they all did what they could,” the manager said.
Once the water is drained out, the buses will be towed away. It’s not clear yet if they can be used again.
The water was so high a duck paddled by the stranded buses.
— Jenna Perlman (@JennaPNews) September 2, 2021
Waltham Police Officer Ann Frassica said they alerted parents about delays. Drivers picked up buses from other towns and did multiple routes to get all the kids to school.
“I checked in with all the schools at the end of their drop off times in the morning, and I didn’t get any calls that students missed buses,” Frassica said. “It is possible that some students chose to walk when the buses were a little bit delayed.”
The area is prone to flooding, but Frassica said she had never seen it like this.
“I was taken back because I’ve never seen the water this high in the back before.”
A nearby worker at O’Reilly’s Auto Parts told WBZ-TV that the school buses are usually moved when there is risk of flooding. Frassica remarked that she hopes a similar situation can be avoided in the future.
“I’m not really sure where the communication really broke down on that. I can’t speak to that, but I’m sure in the future, the buses will be moved so we can avert the situation again.”
Several inches of rain fell across Massachusetts early Thursday morning as remnants of Ida swept through the Northeast. Waltham got 3.76 inches according to the National Weather Service.