Parts of Massachusetts' Merrimack Valley were flooded Thursday afternoon as severe storms moved through New England, dumping heavy rain and causing tree damage.
Lawrence police shared an image of flooded roads, and their police station was flooded as well, requiring a pair of prisoners to be transferred to another facility. There were reports of flooding in Methuen and Plum Island as well.
Severe thunderstorm warnings were issued across Massachusetts, including the Worcester and Boston areas, as well as in parts of New Hampshire, Connecticut and Rhode Island. Trees crashed down in the high winds across the area, including on Boston's Charles River Esplanade.
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Three feet of rain poured into the Lawrence Police Headquarters, Chief Roy Vasque said, calling the precipitation "extraordinary."
"The system itself just can't take it," he said, noting that the building is decades old and an "extreme amount of water" poured in. He also thanked the law enforcement agency that took in the two people who'd been jailed there.
Water was being pumped out Thursday afternoon.
The powerful storms tore through trees and caused damage in Andover as well Thursday.
Neighbors in Southridge Circle said the damage happened fast. Some said they heard howling winds and watched the trees come down near their homes as the storm blew through.
Adan Durso said he returned home Thursday to find a tree had fallen into his home. No injuries were reported.
“What happened today, it was just freaky. I mean, it was loud, it seemed like it was never going to stop," Durso said. "It just sounded like a freight train."
The heat and humidity ramped up another notch earlier Thursday. Wednesday, we hit 90 degrees in Hartford, Connecticut, marking a five-day heat wave.
It appeared we would to do it again in the state, making this a six-day heat wave. There was a heat advisory in effect for south central Connecticut.
The dewpoint temperature is now in the 70s and for most of us the air temperatures are in the 80s to 90, creating another uncomfortable day for working outdoors. We also had to keep an eye on the sky for another round of powerful thunderstorms.
The storms hit hard Wednesday in the Pioneer Valley of Massachusetts, where there were several funnel clouds reported, but no evidence of any tornado damage. The threat Thursday was mostly from heavy rain, lightning, damaging wind and the possibility of hail.
Thunderstorms generally begin to generate around lunchtime and then we have severe weather warnings in effect through dinner time and sunset. It’s impossible to time or place the storms, but it looks like first and central and northern New England, and then later in southern New England, and then at the south coast non-severe thunderstorms after dark.
It’s an old weather front stalled over New England that is going to push to the south with improvement tomorrow. Outside tonight we may get a glimpse of the comet through broken clouds, but once again fog will become dense in spots with a low temperature only around 70°.
Less humid air moves into Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine tomorrow. For southern New England, though, it’s another sticky day with sunshine through the clouds and a chance of a shower or thunderstorm, with high temperature mostly in the 80s. The sun is brighter in northern New England, where the air is much less humid.
High pressure comes in for the weekend with warm to hot weather. Initially we are a little less humid on Saturday, but it will be hot and humid Sunday and Monday.
The next front comes in with heavy weather later Monday into Tuesday. The tropics are very active with tropical storm Gonzalo within 1,000 miles of the WinWord islands. And tropical depression number nine may become tropical storm Hanna on the Texas coast this weekend. It’s a very busy First Alert 10 day forecast.