September 23, 2023

By Holly Yan and Jennifer Henderson | CNN

Massachusetts cities devastated by floodwater may face new perils as extra rain is on the best way and officers wonder if a “very delicate” dam will maintain up.

The state has seen “catastrophic flooding” since Monday, Massachusetts Gov. Maura Healey stated Tuesday from North Attleborough.

A couple of dozen houses within the city have been utterly beneath water Tuesday, stated Chris Coleman, North Attleborough’s hearth and emergency administration chief.

And about 200 houses have been broken in and round North Attleborough after a storm Monday rapidly dumped about 5 inches of rain on floor already saturated from a weekend storm, officers stated.

“It was actually scary, the quantity of water that fell in only a quick period of time and the unbelievable devastation that it brought about,” the governor stated.

No civilian accidents have been reported from the North Attleborough flooding, however a firefighter was injured in a single day and was in steady situation, Coleman stated Tuesday.

She additionally stated the large flooding that hit numerous areas of Massachusetts “severely impacted” two dams, broken railroad tracks and compelled quite a few seniors to be evacuated by boats in the course of the night time.

“A kind of dams has been shored up already and the opposite shall be shored up by the top of the day,” stated Healey, who toured the harm on Tuesday.

Leominster was one other metropolis in Massachusetts to face a torrential downpour this week. Town bought pummeled by roughly 11 inches of rain in simply six to seven hours, Mayor Dean Mazzarella stated Tuesday.

Some basements in Leominster “in all probability have ft of water inside them,” Mazzarella stated.

“We’ve a number of houses the place the water washed out … you’ll be able to see the muse of the house.”

Whereas no severe accidents have been reported, the mayor stated, “We needed to evacuate folks final night time … with hovercrafts and boats to get folks out to security.”

Leominster was rapidly inundated not simply by torrential downpours, but additionally from water gushing downhill.

“Leominster is about 26 sq. miles. We’ve 12 hills, and clearly from these hills comes the water,” the mayor stated. “And with 11 inches of rain, it simply provides to the … water (going) downhill.”

The Massachusetts Emergency Administration Company has urged some residents to evacuate as a consequence of “a potential issue at the Barrett Park Pond Dam,” MEMA stated on X, previously referred to as Twitter.

“This explicit dam is one which we’re truly about to switch,” Mazzarella stated. “It is rather delicate. It’s water saturated. And we’re fearful about that downstream. So, we’ve put out a code crimson and notified everybody alongside that stream financial institution, alongside that river base … to evacuate.”

And it’s not clear when youngsters in Leominster will be capable of return to highschool.

“Our faculties are closed” Tuesday, the mayor stated. “We’ve a few faculties that skilled extreme harm and flooding. And the opposite faculties are open for shelters.”

The deluge has additionally washed away roads and created a big sinkhole, Mazzarella stated.

“That was the highway … it’s gone,” the mayor stated in a Fb video exhibiting the large sinkhole.

Movies posted on social media confirmed autos submerged by darkish floodwater protecting a freeway. Different footage reveals emergency autos attempting to navigate a road overtaken by quickly transferring water as rain retains falling. One other video reveals water filling a gaping sinkhole in the course of a road lined with homes.

The torrent was so intense {that a} packed, 8-foot by 8-foot dumpster traveled down a neighborhood river and ended up in the course of a riverwalk path, Mazzarella stated. Officers don’t know the place the dumpster got here from.

Whereas the rain has largely subsided in Leominster, “it’s going to take some time for the rivers to succeed in their peak,” Mazzarella stated Tuesday morning.

Whereas the world will get a reprieve from heavy rain Tuesday, however one other spherical of storms may transfer via Wednesday.