Warning of flooding rain hazards Fri – Sat

Above: A Southborough firefighter pumps out a flooded basement in March 2010 (photo by Susan Fitzgerald)

Clear your basement floor and check on those sump pumps!

National Weather Service flooding forecast for Friday to Sat
(click to enlarge)

Southborough Emergency Management is warning that the flooding rains may be coming our way soon.

The National Weather Service is forecasting 2- 3″ of rain.

The announcement by Lt. Neal Aspesi warns that it’s the kind of weather that floods basements that don’t normally flood. There’s also danger of flooded roads.

Below is the message, which includes advice on how to prepare and what to do if an incident occurs. It reminds that a flooded basement is more than a pain and expense. It can also be dangerous.

In true New England fashion, within one week we will moved from historic low temperatures and blizzard conditions to potential flooding rains.

A combination of the snow pack, remaining blocked drains, hard ground freeze and a forecasted 2.0-3.0” of rain will create a conundrum of potential flooding Friday and Saturday. In this scenario, the greatest concerns are flooded basements (even ones that don’t usually flood) and streets. The standing water will not be absorbed by the frozen ground and thus pool in the areas of least resistance (such as basement foundations).

Recommended preparedness actions:

  • Test the operation of all smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. There should at last one on every floor, including the basement.
  • Raise item off the floor in basements
  • Check the operation of sump pumps and other drainage equipment (if you have them)
  • Clear outside drains and create chutes for water to drain away from foundations

Safety if flooding occurs:

  1. Flooded basements present electrical, fire and carbon monoxide hazards. It is not recommended to enter flooded basements unless you are 110% sure it is safe to do so, even then think twice.
  2. Do not attempt to walk or drive in flooded areas. As little as a few inches of standing water can sweep you or your vehicle away. You also have no idea what is or is not under the water.

Heating Units:

Water that raises above the base of your heating unit is a fire and carbon monoxide safety concern.


  1. Turn off the emergency shut off switch on the first floor (red outlet cover)
  2. Immediately contact 9-1-1
  3. Immediately contact your oil service company


  1. Lower the thermostat as low as possible to stop the unit from turning on.
  2. Turn off the propane tank valve outside (at the tank or where it enters the building).
  3. Immediately contact 9-1-1
  4. Immediately contact your propane service company

Natural Gas:

  1. Lower the thermostat as low as possible to stop the unit from turning on.
  2. Turn off the gas pipe flow either outside at the meter where the gas pipe enters the building or inside (only if you can safely reach it)
  3. Immediately contact 9-1-1
  4. Immediately contact Eversoure service company

If you have any other emergencies, including electrical, call 9-1-1

Beyond Saturday the temperatures will drop again, potentially freezing any outside standing water.

[Click here to open] a Situational Awareness Statement from MEMA

Be Smart, Be Safe

Lt. Neal P. Aspesi

Southborough Fire Department
Southborough Emergency Management

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