Neighbors Urge Selectmen to Move on Flood Control

Town officials are preparing for a water study and exploring additional funding for flood control.


The Hawthorne Brook Neighborhood Association told selectmen Wednesday that they hope the town will dredge retaining ponds used for flood control as soon as possible.

Selectmen, who were meeting in their strategic planning session at Town Hall, said the town administrator was gathering cost estimates for a water study and seeking additional funding for flood control.

Town meeting approved $350,000 for Hawthorne Brook maintenance and $40,000 for a lower Paradise Road water study.

The brook maintenance project is expected to include dredging ponds whose water-holding capacity have been severely diminished due to sedimention build-up and vegetation.

Selectman Jill Sullivan thinks there might well be some funding available for technical assistance.

Selectman David Van Dam will meet with Peabody officials to review their success gaining funds for flood control.

Town Administrator Thomas Younger will investigate possible state and federal funding sources to bolster the local flood control project.

The officials said they will update the neighborhood group including Roseanne Mark and Mike Greenstein on flood control plans as they arise.

The neighborhood association has about 50 members, Roseanne said.

The group was spurred to action in the wake of the Oct. 4, flash flooding that filled basements, homes and businesses in Swampscott.

Two weeks before the flooding the town received a watershed evaluation report that helps explain flooding in areas around Tedesco Golf Course.

The report says the Tedesco pond located between holes 7 and 11 was designed to help control flooding and is operating at far less than capacity.

"The pond is part of the stormwater drainage system for much of the central and northern sections of Swampscott as well as the portion of southern Salem near Loring Tower," states the Watershed Evaluation Report for the Tedesco Country Club Pond Watershed. "This pond is the last open water body until stormwater ultimately discharges through a 4 by 8 foot box culvert at the Atlantic Ocean."  

The report, by Rimmer Environmental and McKenzie Engineering, estimates that the pond is operating at 35 to 45 percent of its original capacity due to sedimentation build up.

Stormwater runoff has carried sedimentation to the pond, which, over time, has "significantly reduced the pond's flood storage volume," the report states.

Once deposited, the sediment has attracted aquatic plants, which further increases sedimentation, the report states.

In short, it appears the pond needs to be dredged. It has been five years since the perimeter of the pond was dredged, the report says. 

A wetland beyond the  parking lot may also be a candidate for dredging, officials say.

roseann spinale mark May 17, 2012 at 07:19 PM
Many coastal towns in New England have very old infastructures. Some have been updated and many others need to be. Modern technology is a tremendous help. Let's get these jobs going! You can help your town by voting, by being informed and by passing on the info. Anyone can look into what is available. Roseann Mark
john smith May 18, 2012 at 01:03 AM
u are wasing u time u dont live on the right side of town if u lived on the wrong side if it was 6 u would have a brand new system in our side 1 and 2 or 3 maybe 4 never never will happen the rich dominate swampscott
John B Goode May 18, 2012 at 05:12 PM
I'm not sure how dredging a pond would help. The waters only going to fill in where the sediment was. I would think you need to clear the culvert that's draining the whole system down and the tributaries that feed the system to move more water. Maybe even build a pump house. Nothing you do is going to prevent the dramatic pictures shown. The whole area's barely above sea level.
Sharyn Rogers May 31, 2012 at 02:09 PM
Actually, John-I was told after the flooding in Oct of 2011 that lower Banks Road /Farragut ROad juncture is three feet BELOW sea level. A foot, foot-and-a-half or even two feet of water we're accustomed to; over FOUR feet of water was catastrophic. The only good point is that there were no injuries.
Rachel Murphy May 31, 2012 at 03:46 PM
don't forget cars! Lots of cars destroyed, including both of ours...I still get the shakes when I hear heavy rain outside.


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