Flooded out Lowell residents still can’t go home

LOWELL -- Monday’s water main break in the Acre neighborhood was repaired in a matter of hours. But residents of a mid-rise Lowell Housing Authority building still can’t go home -- because of damage to basement utilities. Many residents of the 192-unit structure are elderly and/or disabled.

“We’ve talked to some of the electricians and some of the heating folks and it just depends on what is needed,” said City Manager Thomas Golden. What might hold up the repairs, he said, is a shortage of parts, due to ongoing supply chain issues.

For now, many of the displaced residents are taking shelter in the Lowell Senior Center, but Golden said if necessary, they could be relocated further.

“We are working with other options, whether it be housing in hotels throughout the area to make it more comfortable,” Golden said.

The rupture of a twelve-inch main sent thousands of gallons of water into streets, yards and basements. In addition to the Housing Authority building, four private homes were also flooded. Philip Luy lives in one of them. Monday evening he lost the battle to keep his entirely flooded basement from leaking into the first floor. Tuesday, his house was a muddy mess, with at least a foot of water still remaining in the cellar.

Luy and his family were evacuated by raft Monday night, courtesy of the Lowell Fire Department. He at first refused to go -- wanting to stay behind and work on cleaning up the house.

“They say no... you have to go,” Luy said. “Nobody stays here. You have to go out right now.”

Luy said he’s been told all new wiring might be needed because of the water in the basement -- and he has no idea when his house will be habitable again.

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