Leominster cancels school for second straight day amid flood cleanup

As Leominster residents continue to deal with the aftermath of Monday’s devastating floods that caused extensive damage and prompted officials to declare a state of emergency, students will be held out of school Wednesday for a second straight day.

In a statement on Facebook, Leominster Public Schools Superintendent Paula Deacon announced that schools would not reopen until at least Thursday, citing the safety of students and staff.

“Please stay safe and thank you for all your support! Great teamwork Leominster!” Deacon said.

In a Tuesday morning news conference, Leominster Mayor Dean Mazzarella the wave of flash flooding “catastrophic” and described how some residents needed to be evacuated from their homes in hovercrafts and boats as around 11 inches of torrential rains fell on the community.

“This is not just a typical storm. It’s going to take quite a long time before we get things back to normal,” Mazzarella said. “The storm stopped over us for five hours and it didn’t move...There was a lot of water...I don’t know how much more rain we can handle.”

There were no fatalities.

Roadways such as Pleasant Street, where a gigantic sinkhole formed, and Lancaster Street, where mounds of gravel and dirt were displaced by buckling pavement remained impassable Tuesday afternoon.

Mazzarella said hundreds upon hundreds of cars were also towed away as crews worked throughout the night to assess the city’s crumbling infrastructure.

“Just trust me when I tell you, if you do not have to go out, don’t,” Mazzarella said. “These catch basins are coming right out of the ground, you’re going to drive over one of them. All the streets are flooded.”

This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.

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