The following article was written throughout the weekend on August 27-28, 2011 as
Hurricane Irene came through Wellesley.
Website Note: The article below was written by Chief Cunningham during Hurricane Irene and updated throughout the two days that the storm impacted Wellesley. The article is written in blog form.
Sunday, August 28, 2011
Most of the roads in town are now open, the only exception being Glen Road, which is blocked completely, and Forest Street at Wellesley Ave. The WMLP reports that they have at least 10-12 utility poles that have come down, and 500 customers are still without power in Wellesley as of this writing.
We are still responding to multiple calls for service. It has been very a busy day in Wellesley, especially for Wellesley Police Dispatchers, who have literally answered hundreds of phone calls since this morning. They have done an exceptional job during very busy times.
Our officers and the other town departments will no doubt be busy throughout the evening and overnight hours as work continues throughout our town.
Unless something significant happens, this will be our last update for the day on Hurricane (and Tropical Storm) Irene.
Much of the rain has stopped, although the strong winds continue to topple trees all throughout town. The WMLP continues to work on the various power outages and wires that have come down. In many cases, trees have to be removed before the repair work can start. We cannot emphasize enough that pedestrians need to stay away from downed power lines or trees.
We expect repair work to continue town wide throughout the late evening.
Some of the major roads that are still blocked at this time include Weston Road at Cross, Brook Street near Benvenue, Glen Road at Boulder, and Forest Street at Wellesley Avenue. Many smaller side streets are blocked with trees, however. Crews are working on the main roads first.
There have been several reports of trees coming down on private property, and in some cases, trees have struck houses, causing damage.
There has been one reported injury in Wellesley. A homeowner fell outside of his residence during the storm and was transported to the hospital earlier today.
We strongly urge all residents to stay indoors until the storm passes.
Trees continue to come down due to the storm all over Wellesley. There is a major power outage in town as well, and several local outages in neighborhoods. The WMLP has crews working with our officers and the fire department to repair the outages.
Wellesley Police Dispatchers are working with other town departments to prioritize what needs to be repaired first. Dispatchers continue to receive numerous calls for service. Please only call 911 if you have an emergency, not to report the power is out.
One of the hardest hit areas is Summit Road, which has a large tree down on wires.
Many roads are blocked, including Weston Road at Cross Street, and sections of Brook Street. The flooding has been reduced on most of the roads thanks to the efforts of the Department of Public Works.
I would like to continue to remind citizens to stay at home during the storm, and pedestrians to stay away from downed trees.
In the past hour, several trees have come down around town. Roads in Wellesley have become flooded, and Wellesley Police Dispatchers have reported that they are taking numerous calls for flooding conditions and roads that are blocked. The most significant is on Route 9 westbound at Audubon Road, where the westbound lanes are blocked. Crews are removing the large tree as I write this, and Officer Mark Carrasquillo is directing traffic around the incident. A large tree is also blocking the eastbound lane of travel.
We are also getting reports of power outages and wires down on Route 9 by Weston Road.
Please do not travel today. Although the Wellesley Police has several extra officers on patrol in your neighborhood, conditions can change rapidly and without warning. Due to the high volume of road closures, we will only be posting MAJOR closures via our Community Notification System.
Saturday, August 27, 2011 5:30 PM:
The first of the heavy rain arrived in Wellesley shortly after 3:00 PM on Saturday. Many streets were flooded during the downpours, and some streets were closed. Wellesley Police officers worked to clear clogged storm drains, but the water volume was too much for the drains to accept in some cases. What we saw today could very well be a preview of the types of conditions that will occur tomorrow when Hurricane Irene arrives.
Please avoid driving through any standing body of water on our roads, as there is often no way to determine the water depth. Today, at Weston Road and Cross Street, there were several feet of water in the street during the height of the rain. One motorist had to be towed from the water after losing power to their vehicle.
Keep in mind that road and flooding conditions can rapidly change over the course of a few minutes.
Here is a video of some of the conditions that existed today:
I will be updating our website as events warrant throughout the day tomorrow, so be sure to check back to see the current conditions. Please stay tuned to local media outlets for updates on Hurricane Irene. Updates will also be sent out via our Community Notification System, and we will be posting updates on Twitter (@WellesleyPolice), and on Facebook. Our new Facebook page will feature photos and videos of conditions in town in realtime.
If you have not signed up for our Community Notification System,
please click on the link above or go to the front page of our website.