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UPDATE: Downtown Streets Still Underwater

Numerous city streets, mainly in the downtown, are still underwater this afternoon and closed to traffic.

Even though the heaviest rainfall had abated by late this morning, numerous streets in Peabody -- mainly downtown -- were still underwater by late afternoon.

The official list of closed streets, obtained from the mayor's office, as of 3 p.m.:

  • Peabody Square
  • Sawyer Street
  • Crowninshield Street (from Lowell to Sawyer Street)
  • Endicott Street (from Lowell to Warren Street)
  • Foster Street
  • Walnut Street (from Central to Harris Street)
  • Caller Street
  • Howley Street
  • Railroad Avenue
  • Oak Street (at the Elks Club)
  • Russell Street

Heavy rainfall, starting early this morning around 4:30, has left many city streets and basements flooded with water, and all public schools in Peabody closed for the day. Mayor Michael Bonfanti has issued a state of emergency for the city, effective from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Police and fire crews fielded call after call of flooded basements -- officials estimates are at 100 -- and trapped vehicles with motorists inside. A few stranded individuals stood on top of their cars while awaiting rescue by boat.

Firefighters also responded to a report of a roof collapse at a Central Street apartment building around 9 a.m.

Firefighters evacuated residents from 103 Central St., confirming there was a partial collapse of the roof. Between nine and 11 units were deemed unlivable by fire officials due to the collapse and water damage.

Temporary housing was being coordinated for the displaced residents and no injuries were reported at the time.

City officials are reporting that Peabody received up to six inches of water over a period of just a few hours and the coincidental timing with high tide around 5 a.m. only exacerbated the situation.

The National Weather Service issued a flash flood warning for Essex County and downgraded that to a flood advisory by 10 a.m., as rainfall petered out. Flood waters still remain high, however.

Peabody Square and most low-lying areas prone to flooding did end up under water this morning and were blocked off to traffic. Barricades were set up at Central, Foster, Caller, Howley and Lowell streets.

The on Allen's Lane similarly reported being "inundated" with water. The situation was under control by late morning, thanks to a large mechanical pump, but not before three cruisers and two motorcycles were damaged by the flooding, according to police.

Route 128 South from Route 114 to Lowell Street was also impassable this morning, causing gridlock for commuters. The roadway was finally clear by 10 a.m. A portion of Route 1 was similarly submerged for a while and traffic was diverted down Route 114.

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