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Flood Damage Extensive Across North Shore

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Some of the extensive flood damage in a Peabody basement Wednesday.

Some of the extensive flood damage in a Peabody basement Wednesday.

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PEABODY (CBS) – Emergency management teams headed to the North Shore Wednesday to see just how bad the damage is following Tuesday’s flash floods.

MEMA representatives are meeting with local emergency management directors in Peabody, Beverly, Topsfield, Lynn, Swampscott, Marblehead and Salem.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030′s Karen Twomey reports

WBZ-TV’s Karen Anderson reports

Swampscott’s Town Administrator Andrew Maylor estimates $1 million in property damage in his town, with what he calls the most significant natural event in Swampscott in more than 20 years. He is still tallying the numbers, but says between 250-500 homes were damaged of a total of 5,000 homes in town.

Maylor says at least 100 homes had more than eight feet of water in their basements.

MEMA has agreed to set up shop in Swampscott for flood victims from today through the end of the week.

Once they have collected the damage totals, they will determine whether the state can apply for federal disaster aid. They say there is also a possibility the Small Business Administration can assist.

View: North Shore Flooding Images

Even businesses that didn’t suffer water damage are affected because customers can’t get in or out.

In Peabody, officials estimate 100 homes and 20 businesses were damaged in the floods. The Deputy Fire Chief says damage is similar to years past, but the difference in this storm was there was no warning.

They expect MEMA will set up in Peabody as well to collect information from flood victims.

Homeowners are having a rough time as well.

“Our basement is a little on the disaster side right now, we don’t know if our hot water heater works, or our furnace works or our washer and dryer.  We don’t know any of that yet,” Tammy Sabino told WBZ-TV.

But it’s not just lost property. Many photos and personal items stored in basements have been ruined.

“I have a daughter who is in college now, her history was in there, every picture that I’ve ever had of her – 20 years.  All my childhood pictures (were in there) because my mom and dad gave them to me,” said Annmarie Regan.

The flooding is causing West Nile concerns in Peabody as well. Health officials say they were notified yesterday that West Nile was detected in a mosquito pool test in Peabody from the Sept 28th, and they fear the open water will create more opportunities for breeding. They plan to spray Wednesday night on several streets, including Lowell, Forest and Summit Streets. They will spray around the schools Thursday night because schools require 48 hours notice.

The spraying requires certain conditions: it must be done at least a half hour after sunset, and at temperatures over 50 degrees.

Flooding is not new in Peabody, but city officials say they plan to move forward soon with a 20 million dollar culvert project in the city to help ease the problems in the future. The plan is for a 2,000 foot long culvert to run from the Metrodome to the Post Office through Peabody Square.

They say it will require federal, state and local funds, and will likely need a bond approved by the city. It will take several years to build. They say this is one part of a three part plan. The final two initiatives would enlarge the North River.

WBZ-TV’s Karen Anderson contributed to this report.

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