MONTAGUE, MA (WGGB/WSHM)-- Several Millers Falls residents have been evacuated after a flash flooding event occurred on Sunday morning.
Downpours and thunderstorms may have kept you up over the weekend, but for some residents in western Mass., it was a completely different wake-up call.
“My cat woke me up at about 3:00. cats are kind of in tune to things, daddy something’s about to happen. About 15 minutes to 45 minutes later the alarm goes off,” said Millers Falls resident Eric Bell.
For another resident, who was not home at the time, it was circumstances, unlike anything he had ever seen.
“I come back to seeing all this I was like in shock and disbelief,” said Miller Falls resident Warren Martinez.
Another batch of heavy rainfall with nowhere to go, so it carved a path through Millers Falls leading to flash flooding on Sunday morning.
Storm drains couldn’t take the stress and the water made its way through the center of town before flowing into the Millers River. Fire chief John Zellmann told Western Mass News multiple residential buildings had to be evacuated.
John Zellmann, fire chief, turners falls
“I have a 12 apartment building that’s been evacuated and also a four (unit) apartment building that’s down on another street,” Turners Falls fire chief John Zellmann said.
Red Cross was on scene assisting those displaced. One building’s basement was completely flooded by water. Another, sustaining significant structural damage including a car in a sinkhole outside. With infrastructure pushed to its breaking point after several consecutive heavy rainfall events.
“It overwhelmed the system, and just came down through the center of town,” said Zellmann.
A section of the downtown area was temporarily closed, as crews worked diligently to clear hazards to keep community members safe. Power was also temporarily shut off for some residents during the process. With more rainfall on the way, first responders wonder if they’ll be able to keep up.
“Yes, we’re concerned,” said Zellmann.