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The Dartmouth
June 19, 2024 | Latest Issue
The Dartmouth

Tornado and flood watches issued for Grafton, other New Hampshire counties

Hanover fire department captain Scott Letson advised Hanover residents “to get down to the lowest place possible.”

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On July 16, the National Weather Service issued a tornado watch for Grafton County — where Hanover is located — beginning at 8:20 a.m. until 3:00 p.m., in addition to a flood watch from 6:00 a.m. until the following morning. 

According to Hanover fire captain Scott Letson, most of the emergency calls today in Hanover have pertained to “watching the water levels.” 

“Right now, we’re not in too bad of shape here in Hanover,” Letson said. “We’re just watching the local roads, which seem to be holding up well, and mainly we’re just running a lot of water in basements.”

Letson explained that the Hanover fire department monitors the National Weather Service, taking precautions based on what weather experts predict. 

“Under a watch, you come up with a safety plan in your households or local businesses or where you’re going to go if a warning does actually come out, so you want to get down to the lowest place possible,” Letson explained. “A lot of people go to basements.”

Letson added that the fire department recommends that people check the water pumps in their basements — if they have them in  — to make sure they are functioning properly. 

“We’ve been to several flooded basements in town that had some pumps equipped, but they were not working because they hadn’t been in a while,” he said.  

In addition to Grafton County, the tornado watch also took effect in Belknap, Carroll, Cheshire, Hillsborough, Merrimack, Rockingham, Strafford and Sullivan counties in New Hampshire, according to the National Weather Service. 

The tornado warning comes just days after heavy rain struck New England on July 10, causing catastrophic flooding in some towns nearby Hanover, such as Quechee and Woodstock, Vermont.