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Locals describe town damage as Orange is in state of emergency from storms

<i>WGGB WSHM</i><br/>The town of Orange's fire chief called for a state of emergency after the weekend's storm.
The town of Orange's fire chief called for a state of emergency after the weekend's storm.

By Leon Purvis

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    ORANGE, Massachusetts (WGGB, WSHM-LD) — The town of Orange’s fire chief called for a state of emergency Sunday morning after the weekend’s storm.

Two roads flooded in Orange. The water has subsided, but Tully Road, one of the two that flooded is still closed for bridge inspection. It has the community talking after a culvert underneath the bridge on Flagg road has been washed out.

“I could actually hear the big rocks banging together,” said resident Lynn Stopen.

Stopen described what she heard on Flagg road Sunday Morning. That’s when she saw this culvert, a tunnel that allows water to flow underneath the bridge, get completely washed out. Another Flagg Street resident told Western Mass news, only a bridge remained on Saturday night.

“The water was right at the road level. And you couldn’t see any of the culverts, rocks, or anything. It was just roaring over,” said Flagg Road Resident John O’ Keefe.

Beyond this road is a dead-end. Only one home is beyond this point. Both Lynn and John told Western Mass News the people who live there were not home when this happened to the culvert. But they add there is a cat inside the home.

“We let them know what had happened. Early this afternoon, they came up and looked at it. Now trying to figure out how they’re going to get to their house,” O’Keefe said.

O’Keefe told us that now, the only way to get to their house is by walking on the ladder that is laid down and climbing on rocks.

Tully road also flooded on Sunday. That road is closed until at least Monday so the Massachusetts department of transportation can inspect the bridge. Royalston was flooded but it is now open. The orange fire chief has a message for residents.

“At this point, we do have the potential for some more rain. So just keep your eyes especially on the smaller tributaries that are not controlled by dams or anything like that. keep their eye on them. Watch for rising water,” Orange Fire Chief James Young said.

The state of emergency is still in effect in Orange, despite conditions improving. Stick with Western Mass News both on-air and online for updates on the state of emergency in Orange.

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