Commuters face flooded roads

A car seems to be navigating uncharted waters in this photo by Bryce Brockelman.

By Will Gasson

Rain seemed to fall nearly non-stop in the Fitchburg area last month, and April has already brought its share of soggy weather. With the ground saturated, flooding has become an issue, leaving commuters to face delays and other transportation headaches.
“There have been many reports of flooding throughout town,” Fitchburg Police Chief Robert DeMoura said in a recent interview, noting that Water Street coming into the city was especially hard hit. And, he said, at the end of March, “We were forced to close down John Fitch Highway in several areas because the flooding could have potentially ruined cars.”
When floods strike, crews have to avoid being swept away themselves, as seen in this photo by Bryce Brockelman.

The problems on Water Street have become familiar to sophomore commuter Mike Chaplin.
“I take Water Street to class every day,” Chaplin said. “When they shut it down … it took me nearly double the time the commute usually takes me and I ended up being late for class.”
Chaplin, a lifetime resident of Fitchburg, said he had never had these kinds of issues with flooding since he has been behind the wheel. He realizes, though, that there’s no point in complaining about the weather.
“There is nothing you really can do about it – we live in New England and these wild storms just happen,” Chaplin said.