News

Rain floods Prudential Tunnel, South Coast

The National Weather Service has issued flood warnings for eastern and central Massachusetts, and a coastal flood advisory from Quincy to the New Hampshire border for Sunday.

Residents along the coast can expect “some splashover and some minor coastal flooding,” said Glenn Field, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Taunton. “There could be some flooded roadways, but no structural damage.”

The Sunday evening high tide will be lower than it was in the morning, and Field said he was not expecting much flooding despite winds gusting up to 40 miles an hour on the North Shore.

Advertisement—Continue Reading Below

“You have to watch out, especially on Cape Ann, Plum Island — that’s always an issue — with the north winds, for some erosion,” Field said.

Fall River and parts of Rhode Island experienced some flash floods Sunday morning. Acushnet recorded the highest rainfall in the state, 5.07 inches, in the 24 hours ending early Sunday afternoon. Kingston, R.I. recorded 5.53 inches of rain — the highest in the region, according to the National Weather Service.

Rivers in central Massachusetts and Rhode Island could overflow this evening, according to the weather service.

“This is a good soaking rain for early spring,” said Nicole Belk, a National Weather Service meteorologist. “The rivers were actually running low for this time of year before this rain hit, so it could have been worse.”

The heavy rains caused some damage Sunday, closing roads and damaging infrastructure.

The Prudential Tunnel ramp off the eastbound Massachusetts Turnpike was flooded and closed for more than four hours before reopening about 5:15 p.m., Massachusetts Department of Transportation spokesman Mike Verseckes said in an email. The Copley ramp remained open.

In North Adams, rain and wind felled two radio towers, interrupting cell phone and police radio service, police said. Authorities said residents can call 911 from landline telephones, and dispatchers will monitor the department’s Facebook page for emergencies.

The Worcester Telegram and Gazette reported that water leaked into the Leominster Police Department’s dispatch center, damaging the system police use to interact with state emergency officials. Routine calls are not affected.

In Chelmsford, the rain caused a sinkhole to open under Boston Road, near Brian Road, said police Lieutenant Colin Spence.

“The road, due to the water, became undermined, and Boston Road is going to be closed until at least Thursday,” Spence said.

Police were diverting traffic from Boston Road, also Route 4, to Warren Avenue and Parker Road, he said.

Around 8 a.m., the two left lanes of I-95 North were closed because rainwater had overwhelmed the drains. The lanes were reopened about 45 minutes later, Verseckes said.

Share