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Town to go it alone on road damage repairs
This was the scene during late June and early May when 11 inches of rain fell over five days in the Backkingdom Road area of Mexico. (Submitted photo)
MEXICO -- "It was just a deluge on us."
That was Town Manager John Madigan's accessment about the flash flood that hit the Backkingdom Road over five days from late June into early July, when the skies, by one estimate, brought 11 inches of rain.
Updating the repair efforts by the town crew to the Board of Selectmen Thursday, Madigan said, "The crew has it all back together but we have no estimate on the replacement of paving. There doesn't seem to be any FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Administration) money available because it only hit Mexico."
The event also caused a large washout at the Oakdale Country Club, with waters running down into the Walmart parking lot.
Resident Andy Dupuis asked, "Is it true that they reduced the size of the culverts in the bottom (during the prior construction project in Backkingdom)?"
Madigan responded, "One culvert was reduced from a 48-inch corregated culvert to a 36-inch smooth bore culvert, and the engineer told us that produces the same flow because it's smooth through there."
Dupuis said, "It seems hard to believe."
Madigan said, "But you know, that culvert that is 36, the one up on your property is 44, that old stack that's in the ground there, up by the top of the LaPointe Road? That water went right around that, came down the LaPointe Road. Half the water never even made it to that culvert. Initally, that culvert with all the chunks of logs and everything up in the woods plugged that culvert, and that's what caused it to overflow initially. But since that time, when we put it back together, the crew added another 18-inch culvert above that as a bypass. "
"We did one (culvert) on the Welch Road as well because that's another stream. Did you happen to see what it did on the Welch Road? It took out at least 20 feet of that road. There's another (culvert) one even closer to Aniel's house. Even that overflowed. It didn't take out a lot of pavement but it did wash out the shoulder," said Madigan, adding, "Every one of those culverts down there got hit, overloaded because of the volumn of water."
"I was talking to Roland Arsenault; he had a lot of issues up at Farrington Mountain. He said, in that time frame, from the Wednesday until the next Monday, when all the damage occurred, there was 11 inches of rain that fell. We had an initial surge on Wednesday, which overflowed the road, and then all the rain every day, and finally Monday, it was just too much rain," he said.
Dupuis said, "I've never seen that happen down there. And the worst thing was, we had that much rain and it never flooded the ball field (in the Hosmer Field Complex by the Swift River)."
Madigan said, "Isn't that amazing?"
Regarding the paving, he noted, "We have to do it before winter. There's not actually a lot of paving except for the one culvert that we added because we had to go all the way across the road. We lost half the road right there anyway."