Experts: Massachusetts Flooding Worsened by Pavement

April 6, 2010

Environmental experts say flooding in the wake of last week’s record-setting rain storms may have been exacerbated by the large percentage of the region that has been paved over.

Rain water that would normally be absorbed into the soil, instead pours off the rooftops of buildings, parking lots, roads, driveways and even tennis courts and into storm drains, that bring the water to rivers that quickly spill from their banks.

A 2002 United States Geological Survey report noted that river flows near densely paved areas in Massachusetts were almost 10 times as high as those near less paved areas.

Experts tell The Boston Globe there are ways to reduce runoff, such as putting crushed stone near drainpipes to allow water to soak into the ground, and converting lawns into rain gardens.

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