Local rivers flowing fast and dangerous after recent rain - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

Local rivers flowing fast and dangerous after recent rain


Flood watches for Western Massachusetts were canceled about a day early, as the National Weather Service believes the rivers have crested to their peak early Friday afternoon. Most major rivers across the Pioneer Valley did not break flood stage, but the additional water from the last few storms still makes them dangerous.

"Rivers right now are flowing very high," said Jim Sotiropoulos, executive director of the Pioneer Valley Riverfront Club. "The current discharge rate is about 60,000 cubic feet per second, which is well above normal levels."

About 2 inches of rainfall was reported Thursday night into Friday morning across much of Western Massachusetts. Monthly rainfall totals have skyrocketed for June, nearly doubling the amount of rain typically seen for the entire month.

Bradley International Airport has reported 8.46 inches of rain so far this month, while typically averaging 4.35 inches for an entire month of June. Even with two full weeks left, this month has already ranked as the fourth rainiest June on record at Bradley.

Westfield has also reported 8.0 inches of rain so far this month, with Chicopee reporting about 7.4 inches. Even if this month's excessive rainfall has not yet caused a local river or stream to overflow its banks, there is still a cause for concern.

"It is extremely dangerous right now if anybody was to fall into the river," said Sotiropoulos. "In addition to that, there is a tremendous amount of debris in the water that can be hidden."

With summer school vacations starting, and Father's Day weekend upon us, Sotiropoulos reminds anyone going out on the river to use caution and wear a life vest. The National Weather Service and Safe Boating Council also recently conducted their annual Safe Boating Week. Links to that information can be found here on the CBS3 Pinpoint Weather Blog.

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