Residents flee flooded homes by boat due to broken water pipe in Massachusetts

Published: Nov. 29, 2022 at 10:55 AM PST
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LOWELL, Mass. (WHDH) - Massive flooding in a neighborhood in Massachusetts was caused by a broken water main.

With streets and cars underwater, rescue crews went door-to-door in boats.

Families were rescued from their homes with water rising after the break in Lowell.

“It went fast,” Lowell resident Natasha Furtado described.

“I saw water rushing in around 3 o’clock, went back out about 3:45 and there was cars like three-quarters submerged,” another resident described.

Water flooded streets and some buildings between Father Morissette Boulevard and Merrimack Street with Moody and Race streets most impacted.

“The water is like right there at the edge,” Furtado added. “So if it goes up a little bit, it will go right into her house.”

People quickly realized something was wrong.

“First, the fire alarm went off and then the lights died,” Cindy Braasch described.

Braasch lives in a housing complex that was impacted by the flooding.

“Now, the basement of our building is flooding. There’s no light. There hasn’t been water for a couple hours,” Braasch said.

Braasch, along with her cat Bradon, left to stay somewhere for the night.

“Yeah, that’s my poor baby and I don’t know what to do about him either. He’s freezing,” the Lowell woman added.

Late Monday, the cleanup had started and shelters had also opened as many families worked to figure out what comes next.

“Yeah, I’m freezing and I’m trying to keep her warm,” one man said.

“I feel really, really bad because those people, their whole basement is completely, completely flooded. People’s cars are ruined and stuff like that and just like yeah, it’s unbelievable,” another resident described.

Several hundred people were displaced and the city opened two emergency shelters to help residents.