REGION – A very discouraged Terry O’Brien, director of the Cavendish Recreation Department, was overlooking a flooded Greven Field Monday morning, April 15 as over a foot of fast moving water was sweeping across the entirety of the ball park, which includes two ball fields, four dugouts, several other equipment buildings, and the Fenway-replica Green Monster.
This is the third time in the last two years that floodwaters have breached the banks of the Black River and caused flood damage at the field. This latest disaster puts the Cavendish Little League program in jeopardy for the 2019 season. O’Brien was planning on starting practice the following day, April 16, with opening day festivities scheduled for April 27. This flood will impact both those dates and may cancel playing on the field altogether. According to O’Brien, “Structurally there’s things that can be fixed, but if the field is ripped up it will have to be re-sodded which means no season or a very abbreviated one.”
According to Cavendish Town Manager Brendan McNamara, other than Greven Field, the Proctorsville village area escaped major damage although it was touch and go for a while in the early morning. Off of Twenty Mile Stream Road, a bridge washed out on Meadow Brook Farm Road and repairs will also be needed on Norrie Davis Road. Cavendish Gulf Road was closed earlier and sustained some damage.
In Ludlow, a stretch of Route 103 from Black River High School down to Pleasant Street Extension was closed from early morning until 1 p.m. opening one lane at first then completely opening later in the day. According to Ludlow Municipal Manager Scott Murphy, Black River Mobile Home Park sustained significant damage with several people needing to be evacuated by a backhoe in the morning. Ludlow Community Center was open for anyone who needed shelter.
Subway, Sam’s Steakhouse, and Village Pizza also sustained minor damage. The extent of the damage to Timber Inn was unknown with the owners currently traveling.
Two roads, Rod and Gun Club Road and Pettiner Hill Road, remained closed Monday afternoon and needed repairs before they could be reopened.
The Ludlow Wastewater Treatment Plant was inundated, releasing primary treated water in the Black River, which likely continued throughout the rest of Monday, said Murphy.
Fletcher Field, which serves as practice fields for baseball and softball, was underwater as was Ludlow Little League Field on Pleasant Street. Ludlow’s Opening Day was scheduled for the weekend of May 4 but will likely be impacted by the flooding.
Chester Town Office reported no flood damage in their town.
In Londonderry, Kevin Beattie, Emergency Management coordinator, reported that flooding of the West River closed Route 11, heavily damaging two businesses, Jelly’s Deli and The Garden Restaurant. West River crested about 8:30 a.m. and Route 11 remained closed until about noon. According to Beattie, there is other scattered damage all around town with about a half dozen town roads receiving some kind of damage although all town roads were passable.
In Weston, Route 100 in Weston Village was closed due to flooding in the morning. Town Offices were closed when reached for comment on the extent of damages.
Monday evening into Tuesday morning, most of the floodwater receded, but overall damage has yet to be assessed. Once damage has been assessed at Greven Field, it will determine if and when practice and opening day can take place.