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Somerville prepares for Irene's wallop

Posted by Matt Byrne  August 26, 2011 10:04 AM

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Matt Byrne

Public Works employees sandbagged entrances to the lower level of the Public Safety Building on Washington Street. In July 2010, a torrential downpour flooded the station with rain water and raw sewerage, causing more than a million dollars worth of damage.

Emergency responders met this afternoon to hash out a response strategy, and said that a robo-call from Mayor Joseph A. Curtatone will likely go out tomorrow morning warning residents of the impending situation.

At the public safety building in Union Square Friday morning, workers sandbagged lower entrances that last July were gateway for rainwater and raw sewerage, which flooded the building's lower level during a torrential storm.

"We are taking every action with the assumption that the storm will make a direct hit in our area," said Curtatone, in a statement. Workers are removing even the decorative plants that hang from city lamp posts.

Curtatone urged residents to take similar precautions around their homes, suggesting residents stock up on food, water, and batteries, and to make sure non-perishable food is on hand in case of extended power outages.

"Secure your windows and outdoor belongings, and have a plan in place," the mayor said.

The flood in July 2010 has served as a literal high-water mark for deluges in the city.

A brief, intense burst of several inches of rain overwhelmed city drains and residential basements, forcing water to surge out, which nearly drowned a woman stranded in a concrete underpass, and soaked police cruisers and fire equipment at the Union Square station, causing millions in damage.

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