August 17 2018,  Peabody

Severe rainstorm takes city by surprise

 By Christopher Roberson

Foster Street was along the six roadways in Peabody that were severely flooded during Sundays deluge. (Photo courtesy of WCVB-TV/Stanley Forman)


No one was expecting the weather system that soaked Peabody with up to eight inches of rain; it literally came out of nowhere.

“It just popped up and just stayed in the same spot for a couple hours,” Robert LaBossiere, director of the Department of Public Services, said of the Aug. 12 deluge. “It came down hard; it came down real hard.”

LaBossiere said Lynnfield Street in South Peabody took the brunt of the storm, as water could not enter and exit the drainage system fast enough.

“It inundated our drainage system,” he said. “That’s an extremely large amount of water in a short period of time.”

As a result, LaBossiere said, approximately six streets flooded and had to be closed. He said the decision to close a street is made if there is six inches of standing water in the roadway. At that point, he said, drivers will run the risk of water getting into their vehicle’s engine compartment.

However, LaBossiere said downtown Peabody, the part of the city with the recent drainage improvements, held up well. “Downtown was a lot better than people anticipated,” he said.

Police Capt. Dennis Bonaiuto said everything went smoothly despite residents who continued to drive down roads that were closed. “There were no major complications,” he said.

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