Tropical Storm Lee Remnants Cause Flooding in Worcester, MA

(NECN: Brendan Monahan, Worcester, MA) – The Worcester area has seen up to six inches of rain in recent days. The remnants of tropical storm Lee are responsible for Thursday’s downpours.

Gary Soderman knew his rainy morning commute through Worcester would take a while. He didn’t think he’d be there into Thursday afternoon.

“I saw a smaller car plow through it, so I figured I had more clearance,” said Soderman,whose submerged truck on Cambridge street was a common scene across the area Thursday as heavy rains left flooded roadways and stranded cars in its wake.

“I didn't realize there was lower spot there so once I hit that my electrical system was done,” he said.

But Soderman wasn’t alone. Arthur Laramee had to rescue his co-worker that got stranded in this van on Quinsigamend Avenue.

“He ended up getting out and swimming to me and he got in my truck and we brought him to the shop to get dry clothes,” said Laramee.

Jim Okerberg watches drivers test high waters outside his Quinsigamend Avenue pumping station every time the low lying area floods. Thursday, three drivers failed to listen to his warning not to try it.

“It amazes me: you see two cars and the next thing you know the third car is in, lights on, and it's dead,” said Okerberg who says the city’s sewer drains can’t handle intense rains. Once water seeps into stranded drivers’ cars, neither can they.

“They sit there until the water goes through, the floor is flooded, then they jump ship,” he says.

As for Soderman, he says his truck is totaled.

“I'll be doing vehicle shopping this weekend.”

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