Cities and Towns across Western Massachusetts experienced Irene in different ways
WESTERN MASSACHUSETTS (WGGB) — Chances are if you ask most people in and around the Greater Springfield area they’d say that ‘Tropical Storm Irene’ was somewhat of a bust.
Sure we had our share of rain and high winds, but nothing like what many of us expected.
But from Springfield, to Chicopee, to Easthampton, it was a tale of many cities and towns. What we did find was that the further north you went, the more intense the effects of ‘Irene’ were felt.
The Chicopee River flows over the Chicopee Falls 24/7. But not with the fury that it did on Sunday afternoon.
We didn’t feel the effects of hurricane winds from what turned out to be Tropical Storm Irene, but the water that Irene dumped on the Greater Springfield area was a bit of a game changer.
Rivers and streams all over the area, normally tranquil and serene, were well over their usual boundaries. Up the road from Springfield in Easthampton, the Manhan River overflowed. Some areas where grassy fields once stood were completely underwater forming temporary lakes.
We caught up with David Hussey and Kerry Adams who live in the area near the Manhan River. They were amazed by what they saw in Easthampton, and up the road along the Mill River in Northampton.
“It’s pretty amazing to see all the overflow going on,” said Hussey. “And where there used to be fields and grass is now really underwater. I didn’t expect this much flooding. I expected more wind and I don’t think we got as much wind as we probably would. But the thing is still impressive.”
“We were here earlier,” said Adams. “We just came back to kind of check it out again. Over towards Northampton to the Mill River and the turbulence was just crazy. There were big, big tree logs in the water just getting spun around. It was pretty interesting.”
Some roads in Easthampton were closed on Sunday. One fast moving stream we saw, normally two inches in depth, was close to 15 feet above normal.
Meantime back in Springfield a large tree that fell on Caseland Street was quickly cleaned up. Across the street in Atwater Park we found a backyard completed flooded by Irene’s heavy rains.
And further down Springfield Street we caught up with a group who were making the best of Tropical Storm Irene. “Kind of disappointing,” said Jay Carroll. “We were hoping for a large wind and downpours to slip and slide in, but we’ll make the best of it.”
“We just got this crazy idea actually last night,” said Ed Lipinski. “We said if it keeps raining tomorrow we’d set up a slip and slide and make the best of it. We did make the best of it. It’s all good.”
Fun and games aside the large amount of rain we received from Irene on Sunday caused evacuations along the Deerfield and Green Rivers.
The Pioneer Valley will see its rivers and streams swell even more in the next 24 to 48 hours.