Strong storms fill some Boston streets with water

Johnny Marcano was on a 10-minute drive from his uncle’s home in Dorchester to his own in Roxbury when a rush of water swept through a bridge underpass at Quincy and Ceylon streets in Dorchester at 1:35 p.m. on Tuesday.

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“A smaller car had just driven ahead, and the water didn’t look that deep,” Marcano said, adding that the success of the car ahead of him prompted him to plunge ahead. It did not work.

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“By the time I started revving out, the motor had drunk some water and shut off,’’ said the 18-year-old Marcano, who had to call in his father, Louis, for help pushing the sodden car out of the traffic lane of the busy street. Part of the hood of Marcano’s Honda CR-V was submerged and water seeped onto the floor underneath the back and front seats.

Marcano was one of numerous people in Boston who suddenly found their streets and sidewalks flooded when two lines of thunderstorms, one early Tuesday afternoon and the other in the late afternoon, dumped buckets of rain on the city.

Charlie Foley, a National Weather Service meteorologist, said parts of Dorchester — near where Marcano had his watery encounter — were under 3 feet of water after the earlier storm.

The scene on I-93 between Montvale Avenue and I-95 shortly after 4 p.m. (MassDOT traffic cam)

On Beacon Hill, Charles Street quickly became a paved version of its neighbor, the Charles River.

“There was a small river going down the street, but it wasn’t anything too scary,” said Erin Ellis, an employee at Black Ink. She said the water in the street was 4 or 5 inches deep.

Betsy Daly, 57, had to have her car towed because it had flooded. She was parked on Charles, and when she returned to her car, she noticed it was surrounded by 4 to 6 inches of water on the sidewalk and was filled with 2 to 3 inches of water inside, she said.

The water must have shorted the car’s electrical system, she said, because when she sat down in the driver’s seat, it started moving forward without warning, and didn’t stop until she sat wedged between the seat and the wheel.

“I was almost crushed,” she said. “I didn’t know what a flash flood meant until today, but now I know. What a nightmare.”

In Hyde Park, Melissa Martinez, a worker at the Stop and Shop on Truman Parkway, said customers were complaining of 2-foot-deep water outside.

The Boston Water and Sewer Commission received 29 calls reporting street flooding in Dorchester, Hyde Park, Roxbury, and other low-lying parts of the city, after the first storm, said Danielle Domingos, a commission spokeswoman.

She said crews were dispatched to the trouble spots to make sure storm drains were clear. She said the spot where Marcano was flooded out is a chronic problem.

“That’s the lowest spot in the city,’’ she said. “We are always having problems there.’’

The National Weather Service issued flood advisories and flash flood warnings for various areas in the state. It collected reports of flooded roads and power lines down across the state.

In Bellingham, four houses were struck by lightning in the early afternoon storm, authorities said.

One of the two-story, Colonial-style homes on Farm Street sustained large amounts of exterior damage and wire issues, said Bellingham Fire Lieutenant Michael Delorme, while the others only had damage to their circuit breakers, Delorme said.

There were no injuries reported, but there was a lot of repair work to be done, said Delorme.

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