While Needham mostly escaped major damage from , the weekend storm did keep emergency responders, local officials and town employees busy.
crews have been working since Saturday to clean up fallen trees and branches and clear roadways that were flooded or blocked by debris, and they will continue that work throughout this week.
On Sunday, the and were busy responding to a variety of calls from arcing wires to trees down to flooding.
“Officers would respond to a call and on the way they would make note of three or four more wires arcing,” Police Lt. Chris Baker said. “It was pretty busy.”
There was one report of a tree into a house on Rosemary Street, and a vehicle on Greendale Avenue was damaged when a tree fell on it.
“I think all in all we dodged a bullet,” Baker said. “I think that we were definitely prepared for something more. I just don’t think you can really risk that—you have to make sure you’re prepared for the worst and then hope for less.”
The only storm-related injury reported in Needham was an elderly woman who stumbled inside her home while the electricity was out, Needham Fire Chief Paul Buckley said.
Assistant Town Manager Christopher Coleman said he did not have an estimated cost in overtime and other expenses for Tropical Storm Irene but that the town would seek federal or state funding assistance if available.
To prepare for Irene, Needham rented seven additional pumps to respond to any flooding—water issues were reported in areas such as Highland Avenue and Highgate Street during the storm. Town workers have been putting in overtime to clear up roadways and respond to calls, and the town also has contracted with individuals to help with tree removal, Coleman said.
He said officials based their preparations on needs that arose during the March flooding of a few years ago.
“The town was prepared for the storm from a resource standpoint,” he said.
The town was also ready with a possible shelter site——in case many people were forced to leave their homes, but they ended up not needing to open the building.
Several areas around town on Tuesday afternoon.