LACONIA — Fire Chief Ken Erickson said Tuesday night's downpour caused street flooding in the downtown and Union Avenue areas of the city so severe that manhole covers were floating on Union Avenue and nearly 1 foot of water flooded the entrance to the emergency room of the Lakes Region General Hospital.
Spokeswoman Sandy Marshall said the emergency room itself was not flooded but the area around the ambulance entrance was and ambulances were redirected to a nearby door for the duration of the storm. She said there was no permanent damage.
Erickson said Lakeport Dam records showed the city received 3.6-inches of rain, and the National Weather Service in Gray, Maine, confirmed Laconia received 2.5-inches of rain between 6 and 8 p.m.
"It was pretty amazing to drive through the Main Street area and see one- to two-feet of water on all the streets," he said.
He said there were vehicles stranded on Court Street and city police logs indicate that during that two-hour period there were a few calls in the Academy, Fair and Court Street section of the city for road hazards and stranded vehicles.
It appeared that the areas of the city most affected were downtown to the Gilford town line along Union Avenue. While much of the rest of the state received heavy rain, the particular storm cell that dumped on Laconia seemed centered only on Laconia. Erickson said there was almost no rain in the Weirs Beach section of the city.
Public Works crews had the drains cleared, and by 9 p.m. most of the rain had stopped and most of the storm drains had cleared.
(Erosion on Avery Hill) Torrential rains tore through the partially constructed sidewalk on Avery Street Tuesday night during a two-hour deluge that dumped 3.6 inches of water on the city. The street is being reconstructed as part of one of the city's summer road construction plan. The work is being performed by Busby Construction.
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