Flash flooding washes away ground under MBTA commuter rail tracks in Leominster

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LEOMINSTER, Mass. — In addition to washing away roads, opening up sinkholes, and damaging homes and businesses, the flash flooding from Monday’s devastating storm swept away the ground that supports the MBTA commuter rail train tracks that run through Leominster.

The flooding forced the MBTA to halt train service on part of the Fitchburg Line on Tuesday. Service on that line will terminate at Shirley Station until further notice. In the meantime, buses will replace trains at Wachusett, Fitchburg, and North Leominster stations.

Video captured in the area of the train tracks showed the destructive aftermath of the flooding, including a wayward dumpster in the road, a shed collapsed on top of a car, and large rocks and boulders littering the road.

A Boston 25 photographer spotted a number of MBTA officials assessing the damage on Tuesday afternoon.

Leominster Mayor Dean Mazzarella estimated that about 11 inches of rain fell in a matter of five hours, leaving motorists stranded, forcing the cancellation of school, and prompting evacuations in some areas.

When asked if there were any injuries in the flooding, Mazzarella said, “It’s a miracle we didn’t have any fatalities.”

Gov. Maura Healey toured the damage Tuesday afternoon, calling the flood damage “catastrophic.”

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