Sudden isolated rainstorms in Mass. caused streets, highways to flash-flood Sunday night

The pop-up storms reportedly hit Waltham, Randolph, Wellesley, and Billerica, among other areas.

Fits of thunder and pop-up storms swept through Massachusetts towns Sunday, causing flash flooding and downing multiple trees and large branches.

While almost every town faced hot temperatures, many breaking 90 degrees, a few areas Waltham, Randolph, Wellesley, and Billerica, among others also saw bursts of heavy rainfall, according to the National Weather Service of Boston.

The “‘Winner’ was the Randolph MA area with 2-3 [inches]. Unfortunately much of that fell in less than an hour, resulting in minor poor drainage flooding,” NWS Boston wrote in a tweet.

Officials also shared a 3D-radar animation of the storms, explaining the kind of domino effect they had on each other as they traveled across the state.


“Classic example of an ‘outflow boundary’ from one storm kicking off another storm before the first collapses,” NWS Boston wrote. “An outflow boundary forms when wind drops from a storm, hits the ground, and spreads out.”

Tony Moy shared a video on Twitter from Waltham, showing heavy rain lashing against a window, a utility pole leaning with the wind, and booming thunder overhead. 

On I-95 near Waltham, Julia Airey described the highway in a tweet as “a water park ride.” 

NBC10 Boston News Director Scott Isaacs also tweeted a video of his trip along Route 128 South, saying it was like “an ocean.” 

“The highway is completely flooded,” Isaacs wrote. “Avoid if you can.”

Randolph police said in a Facebook post that during the height of the storm, the department’s dispatch center fielded over 27 calls to 911 and dozens of business line calls. 

Quite the storm blew through Randolph this afternoon. During the height, our dispatch center received over 27 calls to…

Posted by Randolph Police Department on Sunday, June 21, 2020

Facebook user Dewey Schramm III documented some of the flash flooding in Randolph, too. Outside a McDonald’s on Highland Avenue, sirens could be heard in the background and multiple cars were stagnant, wheel-deep in water. 

water is wet

Posted by Dewey Schramm III on Sunday, June 21, 2020

Sunday’s winds also picked up in Billerica, where police reported four downed trees or large branches and a flooded road near Mt. Pleasant Street and Billerica Avenue. 


Wellesley police reported flooded roadways throughout the town, too, warning residents to avoid Route 9 under Route 16 where five vehicles were stuck in high water.

Water flooded Weston Road between Central and Washington streets as well.

Officers posted photos of Lt. Jeff Renzella as he tried to clear a drain to reduce the flooding. 

“Not much luck though,” Wellesley police wrote. 

The Norwell Fire Department also responded to a reported lightning strike around 4:30 p.m., according to a Facebook post. 

At approximately 4:30 this afternoon, NFD responded to the area of 20 Ridge Hill Road for a reported lightning strike….

Posted by Norwell Fire Department on Sunday, June 21, 2020

Crews said they found a large tree with debris scattered across the roadway near 20 Ridge Hill Road, but said no fires or injuries were reported. 

Jump To Comments