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Connecticut River hits flood level in Northampton, Hadley and Hatfield

  • The Connecticut River as seen from the Coolidge Bridge, Thursday, Oct. 4, 2018. STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • The Connecticut River is shown at flood stage in Hatfield, Wednesday. STAFF PHOTO/JAMES PENTLAND

Staff Writer
Published: 4/17/2019 8:31:18 AM

NORTHAMPTON — The National Weather Service has issued a flood warning that affects three Hampshire County communities.

The weather service said that snowmelt and heavy rainfall in the upper reaches of the Connecticut River Basin have caused river gauge readings in the lower part of the basin to reach and exceed flood stage levels.

On Wednesday at 12 p.m., the river gauge at Northampton read 112.5 feet, with flood stage being 112 feet.

By 5 p.m., flooding levels had begun to drop, according to spokeswoman Lenore Correia. She said flood levels had peaked at 113 feet.

Flooding levels “will probably be below minor flooding by tomorrow afternoon,” Correia said. “Tomorrow night by the latest.”

The weather service said that minor flooding would affect areas near the Oxbow in Northampton, Aqua Vitae Drive in Hadley, and farming areas in Hatfield outside of flood dike protection.

The weather service also gave a safety message that children should not play near swollen rivers, streams or culverts and that swiftly moving water can be life-threatening.

“We’re not expecting it to go below flood (level) until sometime tonight,” Alan Dunham, a weather service meteorologist in Norton, said Wednesday.

Northampton Department of Public Works Donna LaScaleia said that the only road that has been closed is Old Springfield Road, and that it will reopen when the river drops below flood stage.

Dunham said that additional rain is expected Friday, Saturday and Sunday which should keep the river running high, although it is forecasted to stay below flood stage.

Bera Dunau

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