Heavy rain, backed up culverts raise flooding concerns as some deal with repeat outages

Published: Dec. 23, 2022 at 4:08 PM EST|Updated: Dec. 23, 2022 at 6:58 PM EST
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LEBANON, N.H. (WCAX) - Road crews in cities and towns across the region are reiterating the governor’s call for people to stay off the roads Friday evening if at all possible.

“We just hunker down,” said Ray Longley of Pomfret.

Longley and his wife lost power for two days last weekend. But a generator the Pomfret couple installed a couple of years ago powers everything except for the hot water heater.

“I think we have had it two years and when the power goes out, it kicks on,” Longley said.

Like during last weekend’s storm that brought down trees, access for power crews to make repairs will be a factor.

And this storm adds a new concern: flooding.

“Anything that is backing up water, we are opening those up. Taking care of water right now,” said Everett Hammond of the Lebanon Department of Public Works.

Crews with Lebanon Public Works spent most of Friday clearing backed-up culverts.

“The problem is over the years, stuff gets into the drain and clogs it up under the surface of the road,” said Wallace Kim of Lebanon.

Kim’s biggest concern is flooding in his basement. He said he was glad to see the crews out front and is taking this latest round of weather in stride.

“Storms are a way of life up here,” Kim said. “If you prepare properly and public works does their job, it’s just not a problem up here.”

Runoff from flooding will turn to black ice once the temperatures plummet.

“So you got water on the edges of the road, maybe not as much on the interstate but local roads, if there is a puddle there that is trapped by water it is going to stay there. Cars will drive through it and that will drag out that and that will refreeze,” Hammond explained.

Back at the Longleys’ house, Ray was more interested in showing off the buck he bagged back in November than talking about the weather.

“Hopefully three or four hours it will be back on and that is usually the case, but these storms are totally different,” he said.

It’s not just the roads that will be slick. Officials say sidewalks will also turn into sheets of ice and people should use caution when venturing out, even on foot.

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