A sinkhole that formed at a car dealership swallowed several vehicles, roads were washed away, and a slew of homes were damaged after the National Weather Service issued a rare flash flood emergency in Leominster on Monday night.
Leominster Mayor Dean Mazzarella said he declared a state of emergency as first responders scrambled to rescue motorists from stranded vehicles and residents who were trapped in their homes after roughly 11 inches of rain hammered the city in just a matter of hours.
“It has been catastrophic,” Mazzarella said Tuesday. “We had to evacuate people throughout the night with hovercrafts and boats.”
A drone video shared by Henry Swenson showed multiple Cadillacs resting in a sinkhole outside the Durand dealership on Main Street after rapidly rising floodwaters eroded the parking lot.
The travel lanes on Lancaster Street were also washed away by the flooding. Video from the area showed piles of buckled pavement, as well as mounds of displaced gravel and dirt.
Residents who live near the Barret Park Dam were urged to evacuate over stability concerns after roads in the area of Central Street were turned into rivers.
A gigantic sinkhole also opened up in the middle of Pleasant Street, where the foundation homes along the road were also washed away in the flash flooding.
Bruce Aleo, employee of PowerDry, water-damage clean-up business, told Boston 25 News these situations can be devastating for tenants and homeowners -- because sometimes very little can be saved. He said it’s important to treat those affected by floods with respect.
“You’re going into places no contractor ‘s ever been,” Aleo said. “You’re going under their beds, you’re going in their closets. You’re going into their private things.”
And, unfortunately, you’re throwing out a lot of those things -- something Aleo said can be devastating.
“You gotta understand... we’re taking everything they own and putting it on the curb. It’s on the sidewalk and it’s one job after another.”
North Attleboro on Monday also declared a state of emergency, where 200 homes sustained water damage.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.
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