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LEOMINSTER, MASS. (WHDH) - Cleanup efforts continue in Leominster after heavy flooding left multiple homes and roadways with serious damage this week, all while Hurricane Lee may bring further rain to the area.
75 tons of sand were being bagged and prepped ahead of the weekend as homeowners and businesses prepare for whatever Lee might churn toward central Mass.
“We don’t need this next storm – it’s the least thing we need right now, but we can’t change that, so we’ll deal with it” Leominster Mayor Dean Mazzarella said during a news conference on Thursday as he detailed the latest work being done following Monday night’s severe flooding.
Flash floods swept away entire sections of road and more, creating sinkholes that swallowed up pavement and vehicles while dealing significant damage to buildings in the downtown area and beyond.
While some properties are still drying out, other spots, like a string of houses stranded off of Exchange Street, require far more extensive help.
“The important thing is to gain access so we can go in and out daily ,and also continue with our daily lives because we all have jobs that we’ve been unable to get to,” said Eric Morin, one of three homeowners affected by a bridge that was washed away during Monday’s flash floods.
Morin spoke with 7NEWS via phone as he stood across a chasm where the bridge one stood. He talked about his situation shortly after learning the city and state planned to build a 1,000-foot, temporary road that would run to the isolated homes through the back of a high school field.
“I just hope the timeframe is as quick as they believe – and we don’t encounter any hurdles,” he said.
Elsewhere, Lancaster Street/Route 117 is getting ready to reopen after being saturated by rain – a welcome development for local businesses left in a tough position.
“We lost about, over those two days, about $6,000, so, that hurts us obviously,” said Werner Thissen, who works along the roadway drivers have been unable to access.
Mayor Mazzarella reiterated during Thursday’s news conference that the weather event earlier in the week was a “major catastrophe” and that recovery efforts would take time.
He also said that over the weekend, large dumpsters will be brought to Doyle Field to allow residents to throw out anything ruined during the storm.
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