Flooding, winds leave headaches across region



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Photo Gallery | Storm flooding in Stockbridge

STOCKBRIDGE -- Severe flooding and high winds from Monday's multiple downpours raised havoc in Stockbridge as trees fell on houses and the Senior Center on Main Street was closed temporarily.

The flooding caused the Senior Center, which is located in the town offices, to be closed until further notice while the cleanup continues.

High winds from Monday's intense mid-afternoon storm reached 40 miles an hour at Pittsfield Municipal Airport and up to 60 miles elsewhere in the county. They caused "significant damage" to homes in the Beachwood section of town, which is adjacent to Stockbridge Bowl, according to Town Administrator Jorja Ann Marsden.

"There were trees on houses and through houses," she said.

Residents in other communities including Lenox, Hinsdale, Otis and Washington also noted high winds had caused some damage in their towns.

Judith Huntoon, of Custis Street in Hindale, noted that large portions of her road were washed out. She added that debris had also accumulated on the road.

"I don't know when they're going to get around to cleaning it," she said.

Town Building Commissioner Ned Baldwin said late Tuesday that three houses on Birch Lane were significantly damaged, two of them badly. The two houses most severely hit are owned by second homeowners. At one of those homes, residents had to seek shelter elsewhere.

"We were lucky that more houses were not damaged because a lot of trees were down," Baldwin said.

Andy Gold, the president of the Beachwood Association, said the storm "seemed like a microburst."

He cited high winds and hail -- "a lot of trees came down, some folks have holes in their roofs, one car was smashed and power lines went down -- there was a lot of damage."

Beachwood is a lakefront development that includes both seasonal and permanent residents.

Marsden said water from the pre-dawn storm that hit much of the county early Monday flowed into the town offices, and temporarily knocked the building's elevator out of commission. The police station in the back of the building remained open, she said, but the rear parking lot was flooded.

"I was called before 6 a.m. on Monday because so much water was coming into the Town Offices," she said. "There was nearly a foot of standing water on the ground level of the building, and four feet of water at the bottom of the elevator shaft."

Due to potential damage to the Senior Center's wood floor, Marsden said a decision on whether the facility will re-open next week will require an assessment from ServiceMaster Residential and Commercial Services, which specializes in emergency cleanups.

A lifelong resident of Stockbridge, Marsden said she had never seen such extensive flooding of Route 7 between the fire station and the Berkshire Theatre Festival that are just north of the town center.

Another area hard-hit by flooding was a section of East Main Street (Route 102) in the Lincoln Lane area.

To contact Clarence Fanto:
or (413) 637-2551.
On Twitter: @BE_cfanto


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