Flooding

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

Unusually high king tides on parts of the Seacoast may cause flooding in the next few days.

The colloquial term refers to unusually high tides, over 10 feet on the Seacoast.  A series of those high tides are forecast through Wednesday. This can cause minor flooding on streets that border tidal areas, in towns like Hampton.

On Sunday, the beach town was also hit with rain and gusty winds. The tide inundated the back marsh of Hampton Beach, pushing some low-level flooding onto some streets.

Joanne Glode / Nature Conservancy

New Hampshire’s coastal towns are beginning to think about adapting to climate change. It’ll mean finding new ways to protect critical pieces of infrastructure from rising seas, heavier rains and stronger storms.

NHPR’s Annie Ropeik has this story of the lessons from a major road project in Newmarket that’s one of the first in the state to focus on climate resilience.


Courtesy DOROTHY HEINRICHS | ORANGENH.US

President Trump has approved a major disaster declaration for Grafton County. Last month, severe rains and flash flooding caused significant road damage.

Federal, state and local officials estimate it cost $2.9 million dollars to respond to the flooding.

Ten communities had their infrastructure affected by the storm, including the town of Orange, which had an estimated $900,000 in damages.

“It’s a tremendous difference to our tiny town,” said Dorothy Heinrichs, chair of the town select board.

Courtesy DOROTHY HEINRICHS | ORANGENH.US

Governor Chris Sununu is asking for a federal disaster declaration after heavy rainfall caused flood damage in Grafton County last month.

Sununu's letter to President Donald Trump says the storm on July 11 and 12 dumped inches of rain on several communities.

Crews had to rescue some campers and homeowners from the floodwaters. The rain caused severe damage to dozens of roads, culverts and snowmobile trails... including at Cardigan Mountain State Park.

Courtesy photo Dorothy Heinrichs | orangenh.us

Heavy rains last Thursday in Grafton County caused an estimated $1 million in damages in the towns of Orange and Canaan.

Dorothy Heinrichs is the chair of the Orange select board.

"The town of Orange since, it’s so small, only has 12 miles of town roads. And we suffered an estimated half a million dollars to those roads,” she said.  

Canaan will also have road repairs and a bridge replacement to make from the storm.

Mike Samson, the town administrator, says it'll take about three months and another half million dollars to get all those repairs done.

Annie Ropeik / NHPR file photo, aerial support by Lighthawk

At town meeting in Hampton Tuesday, residents could take another big step in adapting to rising seas.

Voters will decide whether to require pilings under new structures in certain at-risk coastal areas.

Thomas K. Babbit / NHPR file

New data obtained by NPR shows the federal government has bought out more than 60 New Hampshire properties after natural disasters in recent years.

The analysis shows the buyout program disproportionately benefits white and wealthy people.

Read the full NPR investigation and explore the data.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency will buy a property prone to flooding to keep taxpayers from funding repeated insurance claims.

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

Last weekend's winter storm caused only moderate flooding on New Hampshire's Seacoast. But it provided a window into how rising seas will make flooding more frequent, bringing challenges to the state's coastal communities.

Ice jam season is arriving in New Hampshire, and officials are warning residents and town officials to be on the lookout for potential hazards.

An ice jam can form when rain falls on a frozen river or stream amid mild temperatures. The ice can partially melt, the water level rises and the ice breaks into chunks.

Sarah Gibson for NHPR

Even if countries cut greenhouse gas emissions immediately, New Hampshire will get warmer and wetter within the next three decades, and towns need to plan accordingly.

That was the topic of Nashua's first Resilient Nashua Summit, which the city hosted Tuesday as part of a year-long initative to gather input on its plan for dealing with natural disasters exacerbated by climate change. 

NHDOT

The state is testing a new way to keep beavers from clogging up culverts and flooding roads.

Engineers from the Department of Transportation have installed two “"beaver deceivers" on Route 28 in Londonderry, just east of Manchester-Boston Regional Airport. 

NWS

1:00 PM: 

via The Associated Press

A deluge from the remnants of Hurricane Florence has flooded parts of New Hampshire, forcing firefighters to rescue several people.

In Derry, Fire Chief Chief Mike Gagnon said seven people were rescued by boat Tuesday after water rose 5 to 6 feet outside several small businesses in an industrial area. He said eight others were assisted to higher ground, and about 15 cars were flooded.

Failed Beaver Dam Causes Flood on Route 4 in Epsom

Aug 7, 2018
Photo by Manual Crank via Flickr Creative Commons

Monday evening a torrent of water surprised drivers heading home on Route 4 in Epsom. Officials say the culprit was a failed beaver dam.

Flooding on New Hampshire roads because of beaver dams usually occurs when the critters' do their jobs so well that water backs up down stream. It's more unusual to have a ruptured beaver dam lead to flooding, says New Hampshire Department of Transportation spokesman Bill Boynton.

Jason Moon for NHPR

A new study says rising seas could threaten more than 5,000 homes on the New Hampshire Seacoast by the end of the century.

The Seacoast properties at risk from chronic flooding pay more than $33 million in property taxes, according to the national report from the Union of Concerned Scientists.

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

Gov. Chris Sununu inspected historic flooding Saturday on the New Hampshire seacoast, as Atlantic waves whipped up from a nor'easter's high winds breached and eroded sea walls for a second day.

New Boston Fire Chief Dan MacDonald

The freeze-thaw weather cycle of recent weeks is fueling ice jams in rivers across New Hampshire – including in New Boston, where a huge, persistent blockage could cause flooding this spring.

The jam on the Piscataquog River is more than 3,000 feet long – the length of 10 football fields.

New Boston Fire Chief Dan MacDonald says it's made of foot-thick icebergs that have melted and cracked, then frozen back up into a single solid glacier.

N.H. Rivers Drop Below Flood Stage, Snow in the Forecast

Jan 15, 2018
NHDOT

Heavy rain and ice jams that contributed to some headaches in northern New England are in the past, and weather officials are now keeping an eye on a snowstorm.

One neighborhood in Littleton, N.H, dealt with rising water on Sunday. Homes were evacuated in northern Vermont. 

By Monday, all rivers had dropped below flood stage. Bob Marine from the National Weather Service said river levels were still trending downward.

A flood watch is in effect for a large part of New Hampshire on Friday and Saturday, as the forecast calls for possible heavy rain at times, with precipitation turning to sleet and a wintry mix.

The National Weather Service has issued a slew of warnings and advisories for the Granite State. Some regions have multiple advisories. Concord, for example, has the following:

Todd Bookman/NHPR

Residents on the Seacoast are digging out from Thursday’s powerful nor’easter. Along with wind and snow, many low-lying homes in Hampton were hit with flood waters. 

But people are taking the storm mostly in stride.

Chris Jensen Photo

Officials from the state and Federal Emergency Management Agency were touring the state today checking the extent of damage from last week’s storm.

NHPR’s Chris Jensen was with one of those teams in Bartlett.

 

N.H. Emergency Chief: Storm Severity Was Surprising

Nov 6, 2017
Chris Jensen Photo

In addition to the high winds and heavy rain of last week's storm, several other factors contributed to the fourth largest power outage in state history -- with a price tag in the millions, and counting. That's according to Perry Plummer, director of the state Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management.

Jason Moon/NHPR

  Damage estimates from last week’s severe storm continue to rise and appear likely to qualify for a presidential major disaster declaration.

Perry Plummer, director of the New Hampshire Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, said Monday on The Exchange that the state’s damage tally is currently at $13.5 million.

    

The late October storm that roared into New Hampshire with hurricane-force winds Sunday and Monday caused the fourth-largest power outage in state history. The top five outages all occurred in the past decade, according to the New Hampshire Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management.

Thomas K. Babbit / NHPR file

A video of a house floating down the Baker River in Warren put an exclamation point on the severity of the storm Monday.

Thomas K. Babbit took the video. Wendy Babbit, his wife, said the Baker River is still overflowing in places. She described communities in that area of the state cut off due to swelling rivers and closed or washed-out roads.

"It's just sad," she says. "There's a heck of a lot of damage up here."