AMHERST, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- The heavy rains have led to dangerous water levels in local rivers and ponds.
The town of Amherst releasing a flood advisory Monday after a weekend of intense rainfall. The town's fire chief said they are advising residents in short to be smart.
“We’re telling folks stay away, and then if you run into such trouble, dial 911,” Amherst Fire Chief Tim Nelson said.
Nelson highlighted the dangers in western Mass. after the latest weekend washout.
“It’s rare to get this much rain in such a short amount of time,” Nelson said.
He said they are paying extra attention to conditions at Mill River, Fort River, and Puffer's Pond. One Amherst resident said he comes here almost daily.
“We often walk around the pond to get some exercise. In the summer, it’s a great place to take a dip,” Amherst resident Alan Sax said.
While he's staying out of the water, for now, he's been here long enough to know where to go and where to avoid.
“We know enough about how the water flows, and we don’t go near the dam where you might get swept over,” Sax said.
The shallow area of Puffer's Pond near the beach is open to the public, but water on the other side remains off-limits.
While there are no new signs posted, Chief Nelson said they are keeping a close eye on waterways with fast-moving currents.
“We are paying extra attention to those spots that could be trouble spots,” Nelson said
After this much rain in a short amount of time, Mother Nature can have a mind of its own.
“There’s really nowhere for the rain to go; it’s going where it wants to go,” Nelson explained.
He said it could take three to five days of dry weather before water levels return to normal, and he's advising people to play it safe until then.
“We just warn folks, be smart, stay out of the water, especially now,” Nelson said.
Nelson said in particular stay away from any fast-moving streams, rivers, and elevated ponds following the heavy rainfall.