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The Devil's Advocate

The Student News Site of Leominster High School

The Devil's Advocate

The Student News Site of Leominster High School

The Devil's Advocate

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Severe Flooding in Leominster Causes Extensive Damage in the City and the Schools

It Rained Over 3 Inches Per Hour for Several Hours

EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the first in a series of stories highlighting the impact the flood had on Leominster, LHS and its students.

Beginning on Monday, September 11 around 4:30 PM, torrential rain came over Leominster and poured for almost 4 hours, with some areas of the city reaching 11 inches of rain.

The rain caused immense amounts of damage throughout Leominster due to flooding, landslides, and roads being washed away.

Damage to people’s backyards was extensive and a sinkhole opened up on Pleasant Street.

“My backyard was flooded,” said LHS Senior Braden Martin.

In North Leominster, a section of the commuter rail train bridge headed towards Fitchburg was washed out, leaving the tracks suspended in air and a home buried in debris  from the rubble, and a section of Hamilton Street was blocked off.

“My brother commutes from Leominster to Boston to work and has been having to ride transit buses,” said LHS Senior Marielle Howlett.

Sky View Middle School and Francis Drake Elementary School were both used as shelters on Tuesday and Wednesday when Superintendent Paula Deacon canceled school after consulting with the Mayor and DPW.

All students went back to school on Thursday and Friday with two two-hour delays as busses navigated road closures and sinkholes.

Although the students are back in the building, Leominster High School, LCE, and the Center for Technical Education Innovation also suffered damage from the rain. 

Students in Machine Shop in CTEi are currently pulling up the floor in their shop in an attempt to dry it out and then replace it.

The wood floor in Machine Shop needed to be removed due to water damage. (Steven McNamara)

The recently redone wooden gym floor has sustained water damage in one corner and they are still working to try to soak some of the water up from beneath the floor. 

The flood waters raised heavy metal tables in Machine Shop during the 500-year flood (Steven McNamara)

“Volleyball practice was limited,” said LHS Junior Samara Rosado. “It really put a pause on our season.”

The volleyball team is able to be back in the gym now, but the state of the gym is still less than ideal.

Teachers came back on Thursday to find classrooms partially flooded.

Torrential rain collapsed a portion of the ceiling tiles with debris landing on the stairway. (Sabrina Hamilton)

In B-wing, LHS English teacher Jennifer Bassett’s book closet flooded, leaving soggy books on the floor.

The damage was just as bad throughout the community, with roads becoming rivers, and yards being washed away.

LHS Senior Cameron Beaulac said “I was out running errands when it started pouring and roads were already flooding and I had to take so many different roads just to get home and what should’ve been a 20 minute drive home ended up being over an hour. My car ended up drifting on people’s lawns and I was finally on flat ground when I was able to drive home.  I was home eating dinner when the door in my room which is the basement crashed open and water just rushed in and everything was ruined.

The basement of Cameron Beaulac’s home shows the carpet soaked. (Cameron Beaulac)
What was once a roadway is now a river in front of LHS Senior Atalie Churchill’s home. (Atalie Churchill)

LHS Senior Sara Belinskky recounted the fear she felt.  “I was at work in Twin City plaza during the downpour and flash flood, I was finding out live updates from my coworker,” she said. “They were showing me pictures of Route 2 and videos that were emerging and it seemed to be getting worse and worse. Everyone in the store was in a panic state as the rain came pouring down on us. When my shift was nearly over I started figuring out how I was going to get home because the conditions were so bad.” 

Senior Brayden Bergeron found his street and neighbor’s driveway and car to be nearly destroyed.

So much of Brayden Bergeron’s neighbor’s yard was washed away. (Brayden Bergeron)
A car is nearly swallowed by a sinkhole. (Brayden Bergeron)

The community is working hard to put everything back together, but there is still much work to be done.

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About the Contributors
Victoria Miele
Victoria Miele, Reporter
Hello, my name is Victoria Miele and I am a senior at LHS! This year I am in Journalism 2. This summer I attended the Washington Journalism and Media Conference in Washington D.C. where I was able to meet journalists working on Capitol Hill, as well as tour the Capitol Building, and sit in the National Press Club and listen to credited reporters speak about their jobs and day to day lives. Throughout the year I play volleyball, tennis and I snowboard, but I love to read and write. I also work as a Personal Care Assistant for a young girl with SMA and I am a member of student government for the class of 2024, NHS, and I am the Vice President of Best Buddies. My favorite places to be are the library, my church, or playing volleyball with my friends. I am thrilled to be participating in this class and I look forward to the work we will be doing this school year!
Brayden Bergeron
Brayden Bergeron, Reporter

Brayden, a high school senior at Leominster High School, decided to take up Journalism because he found it interesting and thought it would be a cooler alternative to a regular English class. Additionally, some of his friends recommended it, which influenced his choice. In this class, Brayden aims to level up his writing skills, hoping that it will pay off in the future. Apart from his academic pursuits, he has a keen interest in design, a passion for music, and cherishes spending time with friends. His multifaceted interests hint at an exciting and well-rounded high school experience.

Cameron Beaulac
Cameron Beaulac, Reporter
Cameron Beaulac is a senior at Leominster high school. He enjoys running and he is a captain for the varsity cross country and track teams. He wanted to take Journalism because he enjoys writing, but he wants his writing to have purpose. 

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