Craft advised motorists to use caution when approaching roads submerged in water.
“Don’t drive when water is over a roadway,” Craft said. “The problem is that in some places the water is moving and can be as deep as 8 to 10 inches,” he said.
No matter how deep the water appears to be, another unseen hazard is that the road will be washed out. Two vehicles, along with the drivers and passengers, were rescued Sunday after attempting to cross water-covered roads, Craft said.
“Both vehicles stalled out, requiring additional assistance from the fire department and wrecker service,” he said.
Sunday’s flooding in Peabody wasn’t the worst in recent years, but it came in a strong second.
Many longtime residents remember the flood in 1967 and 1998, and this flood falls somewhere between those two.
In 1967, flood waters were 3 feet deep and many downtown businesses had water lapping at their doors, said Stephanie Ax, deputy clerk in Peabody.
One fire hydrant in the downtown area and on top of a curb was almost engulfed by the water.
Most homes on South Olive Street were evacuated Sunday, and some families living in the 100 block of Maple Street were forced to leave when more than a foot of water came inside their homes, Ax said.
A lot of basements were flooded, and Sheree Rueb, owner of Cameo Rose Antiques north of Santa Fe Park did what she could before water filled her basement and toward the back of the store.
Ax said Rueb was keeping a positive outlook, saying there is nothing anyone can do when something like this happens.
When weather-related problems or other disasters happen, people in Marion County do what they can to help their neighbors.
Rex Watson, superintendent of Peabody-Burns schools, said he was more than happy to use a small tractor to help two boys cross the water so they could participate in the Mid-America Youth Basketball tournament Friday through Sunday.
“I needed to go check on the schools (in Peabody) to make sure we didn’t have any roof leaks or flooding issues,” Watson said.
After checking Sunday, he said, the water had receded enough that the bridge on Locust Street was open again.
Other community members offered their assistance to those evacuated.
“In the 1967 flood,” Ax said, “a lot of the cleanup was done on horseback.”