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Franklin County assessing road damage after heavy rain last week

A washed out road in Deerfield as a result of heavy rains Friday. The weather event saw several inches of precipitation dumped on the area.
Deerfield Police Department
A washed out road in Deerfield as a result of heavy rains Friday. The weather event saw several inches of precipitation dumped on the area.

Some communities in Franklin County are making repairs to infrastructure after storms dumped several inches of rain on the area Friday.

In Conway, the National Weather Service said at least five-to-seven inches of rain fell.

Town Administrator Veronique Blanchard said as the first storm moved in, she had one feeling.

"I was in despair because we just had two other rain events and then a smaller one before that starting on July 3rd," she said.

With Conway already saturated, the latest weather event caused roads, many of them gravel, to wash out. There was other damage to other town resources. And, she said the town’s fire department had to help homeowners pump out basements flooded with water, adding that some of the residences suffered damage as a result.

On Monday, Blanchard said many roadways had been made passable, but more repairs are needed. On Tuesday, the town will begin to assess exactly how much work needs to be done and begin to figure out the price tag. Blanchard said the very wet July has caused a difficult financial picture.

"Believe me, we're going to pursuing every single avenue we can because we're going to need help to get through this, otherwise, I don't know quite how we're going to survive this financially," she said.

Blanchard added what to do about the price tag resulting from the recent storms will be a topic for discussion at upcoming select board meetings.

Neighboring Deerfield also was hit hard by Friday’s downpours. According to the town’s police department’s Facebook page, some 60-100 locations around Deerfield will require attention and that’s on top of 21 others from previous storms. A posting from Sunday said the town will work with the local state legislative delegation along with emergency management officials to determine what funding it could be eligible for.

Several roads in Deerfield were slated for repair work for Monday after efforts took place throughout the weekend to reopen roadways.

Meanwhile, in Greenfield, Franklin County’s largest community, at-least four-and-a-half to six inches of rain fell Friday according to the weather service. That caused numerous roads to be closed due to mudslides, landslides, and other damage.

Matthew Conway, a spokesperson for the mayor’s office in Greenfield said most roadways had been reopened as of Monday afternoon, but some will require additional repairs to before being restored to normal conditions. There are still a few streets still closed.

Back in Conway, Blanchard, the town administrator, said she’s concerned if more heavy rains hit in the near future, already damaged roads could be washed out.

“I sincerely hope August is an incredibly dry month,” she said.

Adam joined NEPM as a freelance reporter and fill-in operations assistant during the summer of 2011. For more than 15 years, Adam has had a number stops throughout his broadcast career, including as a news reporter and anchor, sports host and play-by-play announcer as well as a producer and technician.