Flooding is frequent in Brookline because many wetlands were filled in and streams were buried in culverts. Heavy rains can cause storm drains to overload, back up and flood low-lying areas, including streets, homes, and businesses. Now climate change is bringing more rain and flooding. Precipitation in the Boston area increased by about 10% from 1960 to 2010, and more rain now comes during intense storms.
As climate change continues and sea levels rise—they will be 2 to 3 feet higher in a few decades—Brookline will be vulnerable to storm surges during hurricanes that hit at high tides. High water in the Charles and Muddy rivers, into which the storm drains discharge, could prevent Brookline’s drainage system from working, leading to extensive flooding of neighborhoods and streets.
This is a short version of an article that appeared in the Brookline Tab.