PEABODY (CBS) – Heavy rain and flash flooding surprised residents on the North Shore Tuesday morning.
In Swampscott, five and a half inches of rain in two hours left basements flooded, cars stranded, fields swamped, and people feeling shocked and frustrated with the damage.
Watch: North Shore Flooding Video
The Flannery’s woke up to find their basement filled with 5 feet of water, and everything inside it destroyed. They just moved into their home on Humphrey Street a few months ago, and were storing everything they hadn’t unpacked in their basement.
Todd Flannery says, “I put everything in the basement about 2 weeks ago and I can’t even get to the back room. The pressure is so tight form the water in there you can’t open that door or the other door.”
WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Lana Jones reports
Peabody, Beverly and Salem all had more than four inches.
There were so many streets flooded in Peabody they were forced to cancel school Tuesday. The mayor declared a state of emergency.
The fire department says ten neighborhoods were flooded, which include more than 100 homes. The Police Department’s garage was flooded and some cruisers and motorcycles got damaged. Trucks at the Massachusetts Highway Depot on Route 1 were also underwater.
Swampscott delayed the start of school two hours and Salem State University canceled all classes because of the flooding.
Swampscott Town Manager Andrew Maylor says the damage is “catastrophic”. He says flooding occurred in areas that usually stay dry.
Jonathan Elias spoke with Andrew Maylor
Maylor says, “Areas that historically have never gotten any water, or wouldn’t have pumps in the basement, have seen four, five, six feet of water in their basement. ”
He says DPW and police are working to keep traffic moving, but what the town really needs is relief from the federal and state government to help homeowners dealing with tens of thousands of dollars in damage.
“I speculate we could be looking at over a million dollars in aggregate damage to homes in Swampscott,” says Maylor.
WBZ-TV’s Karen Anderson contributed to this report.