Weekend rains lead to flooding in Peabody

Depending on where one resides in the county, rain totals over the weekend ranged from less than 2 inches in the Canton area to as much as 6 inches in Lincolnville.

The worst hit area, according Marion County Sheriff Rob Craft, was in Peabody, where 10 families were evacuated from their homes Sunday. One area southwest of Peabody became an island after the heavy rainfall.

?It was a mess in a lot of places,? Craft said.

Many roads were deemed impassable as water in creeks and rivers pushed out their banks.

?For the last few days, there was so much rain that the ground was completely saturated,? Craft said. ?With the big rain Sunday coming down hard and fast, it was enough to close roads.?

Some of those roads included Nighthawk, 190th and 140th, he said. Sunflower Road was closed Sunday and was still considered impassable Monday.

One mile west of Marion on 190th, the water on the road was deep enough that vehicles were turning around and looking for alternative routes.

Doyle Creek played a big part in the flooding at Peabody, he said. The bridge at First and Olive streets crosses the creek.

A majority of county roads were still closed Monday, he said.

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.?

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