West Springfield levee system still usable in case of river flooding

Hampden County

WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The West Springfield levee is one of the largest levee systems in New England and it helps to protect parts of western Massachusetts from flooding.

You may have seen the levees along Route 5 near the Riverdale Shops. The system was installed in the 1930s and then more were added in the 1950s following major flooding caused by hurricanes and tropical storms. Large gates would be installed if the river was expected to flood.

Trevor Wood, Deputy Director of West Springfield DPW said, “It would probably be a 24 hour notice that we would have to put up the gates, we have three stop block structures to put up. They take roughly 6 to 8 hours each one to put up.”

The gates haven’t been used in a long time but were almost put in following the rain from Tropical Storm Irene in 2011. There are also six pump stations all over the town that pump the water out if it reaches a certain level.

Despite the heavy rain we had Thursday, it does not look like we have to worry about any river flooding right now.

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