Damp, wet, soggy left-over photos

... storm photos from Don and Len Dalton

by Don Norris

The Stringers really feel we are a device to record history -- with our Melrose Mirror -- and especially so with this once-in-a-century deluge that costs us Melrosians some millions of dollars.

And so we're going to use up the storm picture supply: You'll see about everything we've collected so far -- that is, those photos we haven't used in the ten special-section feature stories in this June issue. It will help if you have DSL or cable connection, for we are going to run them at large size. Be patient -- they will come up.

We start off with a stopper -- a couple of hoppers floating by as the flood from Ell Pond crests, with some four feet freeboard on the new middle school foundation. I should have checked, but we think the floating hoppers are unmanned.

Our calendars grew monotonous as rainday followed rainday. By May 15th, manhole covers were lifted by the force of underground water.

Some call them Shilly Shally Falls, others The Cascades -- usually according to the season. In summer the brook that feeds this waterfall is one step wide, hardly consequential. But this was after fifteen days of rain.

Not much of a storm? After all, it was only eight inches deep on the Parkway under the railroad bridge. Actually, this is about the extent of the original Ell Pond after the last ice age, perhaps 10,000 years ago. Trouble is, floodwaters in cellars were being measured in feet.

Yes, the Department of Public Works on Tremont Street got soaked, and the only way to use the batters cage on the baseball field was by canoe.

Scene from the bleachers.

The water got this far: It flooded the school parking lot, but didn't reach the front steps. The finish line was eight inches underwater, however.

Some guys in a red SUV had a ball running back and forth through the flood at Melrose and the Parkway.

That's Hesseltine Field and the Horace Mann School, in the Highlands. Damage was negligible, we were told.

The athletic field was best fit for water polo. At the right, that manhole is delivering Highlands water to the great basin.

The DPW brought in a huge payloader to rescue several cars from in front of the high school complex. Two we can see here actually floated off the parkway before sinking on the sidewalks.

June 2, 2006


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