What’s going on in Dedham’s Manor Neighborhood?

The Town of Dedham has been busy planning strategies to improve community resilience to the impacts of climate change, including flooding and extreme heat. Tell the project team what you’d like to learn more about by taking this survey!

During these planning activities, it was noted that certain areas of Dedham’s Manor Neighborhood experience significant flooding during and after heavy rainfall. Since these heavy rainstorms will be more frequent as the climate continues to change, it’s important to build resilience now.

The Project team developed a more detailed flood model focused on the Manor Neighborhood in order to better understand the kinds of flooding experienced in the area during Phase 1 of the project.

Based on this model, the Project Team also identified potential strategies to reduce certain types of flooding, as well as potential locations for installing flood reduction measures. This more detailed analysis will serve as a model for how such studies could be conducted, and how potential flood reduction measures might be planned, in other partner towns.

In Phase 2 of the project, the Town will further evaluate and preliminarily design flood reduction strategies, as well as analyze potential policy interventions, such as a flood overlay district to guide future development.

Climate change is driving increased flood risk, even in areas that don’t usually experience it. Flooding and water damage to a home can be a physical, financial, and emotional burden on households. While it’s not possible to eliminate all risk, you can prepare.

  • Ensure gutters and downspouts are clear of debris and extend properly from the home. Clogged gutters and downspouts may result in water overflowing into the home or close to the foundation, causing basement flooding.
  • Improve lot grading. Water should always drain away from your home. When making alterations, avoid directing runoff to neighboring properties or to the public way.
  • Reduce paved surfaces. Hard surfaces like asphalt and concrete block water from soaking into the ground. Green spaces, including rain gardens and swales, can slow runoff and improve curb appeal.
  • Keep the nearest catch basin free of debris. Sewer grates located on the street, help direct storm water runoff away from paved surfaces. They can become blocked by debris such as leaves, snow, lawn clipping, or litter. If you notice a catch basin backing up, report it the Department of Public Works .
  • Elevate your utilities and service equipment. Elevate A/C units, meters, and other outdoor service equipment reduce or prevent damage to critical services. If you have them, anchor and elevate outdoor fuel tanks to prevent dislocation and ruptures.
  • Relocate valuables. Move important documents, valuables, and sentimental items out of the basement or store in watertight containers or elevated on rust resistant shelves.
  • Protect indoor utilities and services. Elevate electrical panels, heating and air conditioning, and major appliances. Move them to higher floors when possible or at a minimum, elevate them off the floor.
  • Seal foundation and walls.
  • Install a sump pump. Choose a device with battery-operated backup to maintain operation in case of a power outage and direct all discharges to a grassy area.
  • Prevent sewer backups into your home. Install sewer backflow prevention valves or drain plugs.

Climate Change is causing more of our rain to fall as heavy downpours, increasing flood risk, particularly near water bodies. Additionally, our infrastructure can become overwhelmed by the speed and volume of water flowing across paved areas, causing storm flooding in unexpected areas. So wherever you live, make sure you’re prepared and know what resources are available.

  • Activate flood protection devices: test batter backups on sump pumps, close backflow valves, etc.
  • Shut off electricity at the breaker panel if expecting flooding.
  • Safeguard valuables: move important paperwork, furniture, rugs, electronics and other valuables to upper floors.
  • Elevate major appliances onto concrete blocks or other waterproof material.
  • Stay tuned to local radio or television stations for updates.
  • Help water flow away from your home: Clean gutters, downspouts, and splash pads, along with any nearby drainage ditches or storm drains. Clear snow and ice away from foundations.
  • Set up temporary flood barriers if available, such as portable flood gates, sandbags, or inflatable floodwalls.
  • Prepare an emergency food and/or water supply.
  • Prepare a flood evacuation plan/route. Some routes may flood during large storms.

Stay informed

  • Stay updated on flood/storm severity from local news sources.
  • Sign up for Town alerts at www.dedham-ma.gov/services/subscribe
  • Sign up for Emergency Alerts on Code Red for information on shelter availability and locations, among other important updates here.
  • Check out the latest town news at www.dedham-ma.gov/news
  • Contact the Dedham Department of Public Works for flood response at 781-751-9350.

In a major 2010 storm, 80% of flood-damaged homes in eastern Massachusetts were NOT required to have flood insurance.

FEMA Flood insurance only covers flooding caused by overtopping of a river or other water body. It does not cover groundwater seepage or storm drain backups (flooding from the street, for example).

Homeowner insurance may cover damage caused by sewer and storm drain backups. Similarly, renters insurance policies may cover damage to personal property from this type of flooding. Check with your carrier for available policy endorsements.

Groundwater seepage is generally not insurable. If you experience this type of flooding, be sure to take precautions to protect your home and personal property from damage.

Questions? Please email NepRWA Managing Director for Community Resilience, Kerry Snyder, at snyder@neponset.org

This project is supported by a Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness (MVP) Program Action Grant awarded to the Town of Dedham, in partnership with the Neponset River Watershed Association, and Weston & Sampson.

Missed the public meeting on February 29th? Find the presentation here.

If you missed the public meeting on April 25th, view the recording here.

What is climate change?

It’s a long-term increase in global temperatures. That doesn’t mean that every day is getting warmer, but it does mean that our area is experiencing changes in weather patterns because of those warmer temperatures.

Weather records already show:

  • More heavy rainstorms;
  • More drought;
  • More days that reach 90 degrees or more; and
  • More intense, windy storms

Towns across Massachusetts are working to adapt to these changes. But they can’t do it alone. The Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness (MVP) Program funds projects each year to help cities and towns plan for and make necessary changes to reduce risks to people, property, and infrastructure.

Find out more about the impacts of climate change here.