High tides, storm threaten coastal flooding
SCITUATE, Mass. (WHDH) -- As a major storm wallops Massachusetts Friday through Saturday, there is a big concern about coastal flooding.
Two critical high tides are on the way and crews have already started laying down sand to prepare.
Scituate residents are still rebuilding from the flooding from December 2010 that led to a devastating fire that destroyed two homes.
“It was devastating for the families that were in the houses so that was the biggest thing. No one was hurt so that was the good news,” said Patrick Connaughton.
"When the waves hit on the sea wall, they physically shake the house," said one woman.
Superstorm Sandy flooded streets and homes, and forced evacuations.
Conditions in Scituate quickly deteriorated Friday afternoon as the wind and snowfall intensified, bringing curious onlookers closer to the coast.
“Watching the ocean is amazing. It’s low tide right now and it’s already so fierce,” said Karen Hirsh.
The Scituate Town Administrator said the town is monitoring conditions on an hourly basis.
“The challenge we have with this one is we always have coastal impacts, we always have wind, we always have power outages to some degree. But tomorrow we’ll possibly have two feet, maybe three feet of snow on top of that,” said Patricia Vinchesi, Scituate town administrator.
In Marshfield, Emergency Management Coordinator Lieutenant Paul Tader has coastal concerns to worry about too. He said it’s easier when residents leave before the storm rather than during the storm.
“We’re looking at at least over a foot of snow. Then couple that with the high tides and the potential for flooding we that have in the coastal areas, it becomes a real concern for us,” said Lt. Tader.
Plans are already in place to transform the Marshfield Senior Center into an emergency shelter. Humvees are standing by to get residents out of areas if they’re stuck when rising ocean waters come ashore.
Joe Rofe has lived in Marshfield for three decades and seen three destructive storms. He said he is boarding up and heading out.
“It’s the price to pay to live so close and 99 percent of the time it’s beautiful. But this is the one percent,” said Rofe.
Many living in coastal communities have their eyes on the sea walls hoping they will hold for the critical high tides coming in on Friday night and Saturday morning. There are currently no mandatory evacuations in place.