Mayor declares state of emergency in Peabody, city offices closed, trash pickup cancelled as Sandy rolls in
Mayor Ted Bettencourt has declared a state of emergency until further notice in the city of Peabody, and officials are scaling back daily operations as Hurricane Sandy bears down on the region, according to a statement from Chris Ryder, Bettencourt's chief-of-staff.
City offices are cosed today, and all trash pickup has been cancelled.
Currently, the National Weather Service has a High Wind Warning in effect for all of Massachusetts, and a Storm Warning off the coast of the North Shore. Hurricane and Coastal Flooding warnings are limited to the South Shore, but all of Massachusetts is expected to experience high winds and heavy rain later today and into the evening. Any residents or businesses with an emergency in regards to flooding or tree damage should contact the Public Services Department at 978-536-0600.
Bettencourt has also set up a local storm information hotline for Peabody residents at 978-538-5758.
According to Ryder, Bettencourt began making preparations for the heavy rain over the weekend, directing Public Services personnel to clear out culverts and drains, and to make sure pump stations throughout the city - the downtown area of which is notorious for flooding during heavy rain - have working backup generators to power them in the event of an outage.
"This clearing of culverts is an ongoing effort all year round but certainly imperative prior to periods of expected heavy rain," Ryder said in an email. "The Mayor also directed Public Services to inspect storm drains for debris/blockages and to clear any detected. Again this is something which is done on an ongoing basis in Peabody but is certainly stepped up prior to expected heavy rains."
Ryan Mooney can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @mooney_ryan.