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I just took a walk over to Echo Bridge to get a sample of what Sandy has brought to town.  From the top of the bridge I saw a sight I’ve never seen before.  Upper Falls has been turned off!

Up until today, I had no idea that the dam at Upper Falls could be raised or lowered.  It’s a strange sight indeed to see the water fall turned off amidst torrential rainfall.  I’d guess that this is part of an effort to manage the Charles River water flow during the storm and prevent downstream flooding.

I would have thought that raising the dam wouldn’t give much relief – that the upstream water would quickly rise behind the dam, though that doesn’t seem to have happened.

One other curious detail I saw may/may not be related.  The bridge at Elliot St, just upstream from the dam is flooded.  It looks like the storm drain on the street must not be doing its job.  That’s right next to a brick building that says “Charles River pumping station”.  I wonder if the pumping station is pumping the upstream water in to the storm drain system and that’s causing the problem with the street water draining.

All of this is of course pure speculation.  Sorry for this nearly fact free post 🙂