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June 2nd, 2023

Storm wreaks havoc in the Fall River area, causing property damage

FALL RIVER — The overnight storm Wednesday from the remnants of Hurricane Ida resulted in flooded roads and school closures, and delays Thursday.
On Thursday morning, Mayor Paul Coogan said he was out driving around the city, and “the water is draining rapidly.”
“Flooding is in the typical spots at Stafford Square, and we had a problem down on Cove Street. The fire department did a great job all night getting people out of cars and getting people to safety,” said Coogan.
Coogan said that due to flooding, two city schools closed Thursday: Letourneau Elementary and the Argosy Charter School.

“I was at Letourneau this morning, and it was pretty wet in there,” said Coogan, adding crews were already inside mopping up.
“But the good news is the new Durfee High School was bone dry,” said Coogan.
According to the mayor, the only serious structural damage to a city road was at Spencer Street off Stafford Road.
Fall River Acting District Chief Neil Furtado, who was manning the radios overnight at fire headquarters on Airport Road, said it was busy, especially during the storm surge around 4 to 6 a.m., with multiple calls for basement flooding.
“I lost track of the number of calls,” said Furtado. “We had a backlog, and we were trying to prioritize.”
Public safety personnel also rescued a woman from flooding on Plymouth Avenue near Taco Bell. Furtado said it appeared the woman suffered minor hypothermia and was treated.
The flooding on Route 24 in the northern section of the city also wreaked havoc getting apparatus around, with Furtado saying some trucks had to be routed to Assonet just to turn around and head back to Fall River.
There was also a response to a collapse of a building, NEW LEAF, on Last Street, near the Tiverton line, where a wall collapsed. Furtado said the building inspector was called to the scene. Furtado said he hasn’t heard any data on how high the wind gusts reached in Fall River, but by his observations as someone who worked through both this morning’s storm and tropical storm Henri, the aftermath of Hurricane Ida that hit the region overnight packed much stronger winds.
To compound the deluge of calls, the fire department knocked down a second-floor fire at 3 Burns St. around 9 a.m. on Thursday.
Furtado said he’d just received a call from his wife, and he was returning home to deal with his own flooded basement.
Early Thursday morning, both sides of Route 24 were closed in the span from Innovation Way to Airport Road due to flooding. Traffic was backed up for miles for a few hours before MassDOT reported Route 24 reopened in that span at about 8:30 a.m.
Somerset schools’ start time was delayed 90 minutes, with Somerset High School principal Susan Brelsford reporting flooded roads on a portion of Lees River Avenue and County Street at Buffington.
In Dighton, Bristol County Agricultural High School also delayed school for two hours Thursday morning.

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