HUDSON — After the severe rainstorm on Dec. 18, the Department of Public Works had its work cut out.
According to the National Weather Service, Hudson got two inches of rain.
At the Select Board meeting that night, Chair Scott Duplisea said, “I feel bad for people who had issues with flooding, sewage backup, trees coming down. It was just horrible.”
DPW Director Eric Ryder said Hudson received a “significant amount of rain today” from a couple large storm cells late in the morning and afternoon.
As of that night, he said, “We’re down to just one road closed. That’s Brigham Street.”
Unfortunately, he said the culvert in need of repair did wash out and cause damage to downstream properties with some residents having to leave. The good news is one family who left due to the storm was able to come back after the Hudson Fire Department deemed the home as safe.
He said they would have some dirty, or rusty water, in that neighborhood due to a water main being washed out, but the DPW was working to fix that by the night’s end.
He said if anyone had any issues to contact the DPW.
“We’ll do our best to get there as soon as possible,” said Ryder.
Select Board member Michael Burks thanked Ryder and his crew for clearing catch basins and doing what they needed to do for the town.
He added, “Some of them were in some deep water standing there.”
In Hudson Fire Department news, the board approved the employment agreement between the Town of Hudson and Fire Chief Jamie Desautels. It also amended his start date to Dec. 26, which was two days earlier than in the previous language.
The change was to “spend more time” with Fire Chief Bryan Johannes before his retirement, as Duplisea confirmed with Executive Assistant Thomas Gregory.
Johannes later went before the Select Board for approval to order a Pierce and Enforcer 1,500-gallon-per-minute pumper and tanker fire engine for $901,398 from Allegiance Fire and Rescue. It also has a custom chassis due to the height requirements at Fire Station 1.
The reason for the timing of the purchase, which the town approved as a capital item at the Special Town Meeting on Nov. 20, was that many manufacturers were “in the same boat” with having supply chain issues for heavy equipment and fire apparatuses, according to Johannes.
“We are at a point where there’s such a time delay in any one of these pieces of equipment that were we to place this order tomorrow, it is out 36 to 40 months before actually delivering. So we may not see this until December of ’26,” he said.
He said the vehicle could be delivered as late as spring 2027. At the 14-month mark, he noted that Hudson could opt out if it decides that this is not the correct engine for the town. In terms of manufacturing costs going up, the town would have to consider what to do at that point in the process.
“We’re just getting it into the ordering queue by doing this right now,” said Johannes.
Johannes believed it was prudent at this time to plan for the future of the Hudson Fire Department to have safe vehicles for personnel to operate. He said they were down to two fire engines that day because Engine 2 went out of service due to leaks into the wiring harness. Another engine was having a pump seal replaced.
He said, “The sooner we can get our fleet to where it needs to be, the better off, I think, the town of Hudson is.”