Deluge causes flooding, shuts road in Berkshires


Heavy rains on Friday flooded roads, roiled rivers and even caused mudslides across the Berkshires.

In Cheshire, chunks of ice and river water flowed across Route 8 in the area of Lanesborough Road when a nearby river flooded in the early afternoon.
Just before 12:30 p.m., authorities closed a portion of Route 8 while the Cheshire Fire Department, police and Massachusetts Department of Transportation responded to the flooding near the Cheshire Liquor Center and cleared the flood and ice floes from the area. The road was reopened about an hour later, according to state police spokesman Paul Sullivan. 
In Savoy, two mudslides temporarily closed a portion of the eastbound lane of Route 2. The lane was reopened to traffic after MassDOT cleared the debris, Sullivan said. 
Joe Cebulko, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Albany, N.Y., said Pittsfield received about 1.74 inches of rain Friday morning. 
More than 1.7 inches of rain fell in Pittsfield by 2 p.m. Friday, according to the National Weather Service. 

A weather service daily climate report for Pittsfield, which was produced at 4 p.m., noted that the total amount of precipitation that fell was 2 inches. 

Pittsfield is the only Berkshire County town for which a daily climate report is produced. 

"In terms of river flooding, it doesn't look like its too much of an issue," Cebulko said around 1:30 p.m.

The Hoosic River in Williamstown was expected to reach its flood stage of 9 feet at 6 p.m. and rise to 9.3 feet around 7 p.m., the weather service said.

The river would likely fall below flood stage by 10 p.m., but a flood warning for all of Western Massachusetts remains in effect until Saturday afternoon. 
While it was around 60 degrees in Pittsfield on Friday, the temperatures were expected to drop quickly overnight.

"It's going to get really cold, really fast," Cebulko said. "It looks like just before daybreak [Saturday], temperatures should fall below freezing." 

Great Barrington is preparing for a potential "flash freeze" by salting the roads, according to a text message notification sent out Friday afternoon. 

The winter parking ban will be in effect from 1 a.m. to 6 a.m., meaning cars are prohibited from parking on town streets during those hours, according to the text message.

The bitter cold will stick around through the weekend and by Saturday night, the temperatures will fall below zero, Cebulko said.

"We are looking at some freezing rain and snow at the backside of this storm," Cebulko said.

The county may see a mix of freezing rain and sleet by about 5 a.m. Saturday, which will turn to a dusting of light snow by late morning, he said.
Haven Orecchio-Egresitz can be reached at, @HavenEagle on Twitter and 413-770-6977.


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