The weather event on Tuesday, August 8th brought an extraordinary amount of rain in a short period of time that led to localized flooding in certain parts of town. At last night’s Select Board meeting, Department of Public Works Director Carys Lustig reported on the cause of the flooding and how the Town’s departments quickly mobilized to respond to this unusual weather event. She noted that some areas of town, particularly those south and west of Great Plain Avenue, received between 5.25 to 6.5 inches of rain, the majority of which fell over the course of 90 minutes. Lustig said this was classified as a “1,000 year storm”, meaning it has a .01 percent chance of occurring in any given year. She added that the highest rain volume occurred on the side of Needham with higher elevations and the rain that fell was then processed by the drainage system in the rest of the Town on its way to the Charles River causing localized flooding. To watch this stormwater presentation to the Select Board please click here. The presentation begins at 51:25.
The Town continues to advocate on behalf of residents and businesses impacted by this weather event. Last Friday, the Town declared a state of emergency effective August 8th. Late last week Needham Town officials also met with Lieutenant Governor Kim Driscoll and Representative Denise Garlick to share the extent of the damage in Needham and to make the case for federal emergency declaration. The Town is actively engaging with MEMA (Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency) as the agency will submit the Town’s case for emergency aid to FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency). It may take up to a month for the Town to hear back on the status of this request. The final determination of emergency aid will be made by FEMA and not by the Town or by MEMA and approval of this request is not guaranteed. There is not currently a place for residents or businesses to apply for assistance as the aid has not been granted at this time and the Town encourages anyone who has received damage to their property to contact their own private insurance carriers.
In an effort to document the impact of damage to property, the Town requests that residents and businesses who have damage to their property from the August 8th event submit details of the damage through the SeeClickFix application up until this Friday, August 18th at 9 am. Please follow the steps in this guide to do so. The information you submit is for the Town's informational purposes only as it will assist the Town in its response to this weather event. Responses will not be shown publicly. Please note that this is not an application for financial response.
The Town has set up a page on its website with additional information including a flood cleanup guide from Needham Public Health and links to other resources. If you have questions about the Town’s response to the August 8th events or about how to submit information via SeeClickFix, please email email@example.com.