To the editor:
On Friday morning, Dec. 23, Bristol once more experienced flooding; this due to a combination of a high tide and an onshore wind augmented by rain. Hope Street was closed as the …
To the editor:
On Friday morning, Dec. 23, Bristol once more experienced flooding; this due to a combination of a high tide and an onshore wind augmented by rain.
Hope Street was closed as the waters surrounded and blocked the Silver Creek Bridge forcing the creek back to cover the lawn below Guiteras School, lower Washington Street and the old gas station’s pavement. Across Hope, water covered a long section of the bike path and made Sip and Dip an island, leaving a ring of wave-tossed debris encircling it. The Windmill Point condos became another island as water was pushed up the harbor and waves swept by. The wall along Poppasquash road was overtopped, blocking the road with water and piles of flotsam and jetsam that stranded a morning driver. Another motorist was stuck in floodwaters near Hope and Wood Streets in the lower Tanyard Brook area.
This was just another delay in a morning’s commute, but it could have been worse and will become worse and more frequent with the rising sea. Most of the Hope Street closure was the result of the poorly designed Silver Creek Bridge, but some mitigation actions could be taken to lesson these nuisance floods. The town’s efforts to protect Silver Creek’s wetland, which hold back flood waters, should be accelerated and improvements made to Hope Street. Bristol is stuck with the bridge, but the slightly lower approaches to both sides of it could be raised to slope towards the bridge to eliminate the closure of the street during minor floods. A more ambitious plan would be to add a second outlet and bridge north of the existing one to open more of the original outlet of the creek. The state is responsible for the bridge design and should pay to ameliorate the consequences. In addition, more work is needed near the Tanyard Brook outlet.
The flooding points out problem spots that should not be ignored for safety’s sake. And, although the waters stopped just short of Robin Rug it points out how vulnerable the building is and the error in using it for apartments. Bristol should take heed of these warnings.
103 Aaron Ave.