As storm approaches, residents along coast warned to prepare for major flooding

As a massive storm continues on a path that will impact our weather starting late Thursday night, officials in communities along the coast are warning residents to prepare now for the possibility of major coastal flooding.


“Really the brunt of this storm is going to impact our coastal communities,” Boston 25 StormTracker Meteorologist Sarah Wroblewski said. “So those with interests at the coast, you need to prepare today. You don’t have much time left as this storm system is really going to move in tonight and linger through the weekend."

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It’s should be another mild day Thursday, but the clouds will begin to thicken up by the evening and that’s when strong winds and steady rain is expected to arrive.

“Overnight (Thursday) and by the time you head out the door for you morning commute Friday, we’re going to have a soaking rain across the region,’ Wroblewski said.

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Governor Baker discussing preparedness ahead of impending storm.

Posted by Boston 25 News on Thursday, March 1, 2018

As for the amounts of rain? We could see one to three inches across the region, especially across southeastern areas.

As a result, a flood watch has been posted for the eastern part of the state.

As far as the snow potential – lesser amounts down across the Cape and Islands, and along the coast.

Where we see the changeover from rain to heavy, wet snow, we could see amounts upward of six inches along the higher terrain, possibly higher.

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Power outages are likely when you combine the heavy snow with the strong winds that will occur.

Winds could be expected to gust between 40 and 60 miles per hour, but Wroblewski said don’t be surprised if gusts of 70 miles per hour are reported along the coast, Cape Cod and Islands.

“With that onshore wind, that is going to push our water on shore during a time when we have astronomically high tides,” Wroblewski said. “The waves offshore could be 25 feet, and flooding is expected to be moderate to major with moderate to severe beach erosion.”

Officials will be keeping a close eye on the coast through three tide cycles as those strong winds continue to push that water onshore.

With the threat of major flooding along the coast, officials in Duxbury have called for voluntary evacuations ahead of the story.

Evacuations are rarely advised, but it’s clear that town officials are taking the storm threat seriously and expect dangerous conditions.

Residents in Winthrop are still feeling the aftermath of the massive storm that pummeled the coast in January. Now, they're preparing for the worst. Winthrop is essentially on a peninsula, surrounded by water on three sides.

"Anybody along the water really has to pay attention the next 24 hours to the forecast... take necessary precaution to protect family and home," said Winthrop Fire Chief Paul Flanagan.

The harbormaster says the concern is not only the storm surge, but how long it's expected to last.
Over on the Cape, emergency management officials are meeting to prepare for the storm.

Erosion from January's storm was so bad it washed away a lot of sand from Town Neck Beach in Sandwich.

Sandwich officials say they're mobilizing boats and trucks in the event of a rescue. They are concerned this storm could be even more destructive than January because this time, it's a one-two punch with two high tides Friday afternoon and Saturday afternoon.

Scituate town officials are offering up sand bags for businesses starting Thursday morning.

"The Emergency Management Team wants businesses to know that there will be sand & sand bags available in St. Mary's of the Nativity parking lot at the intersection of Front Street and First Parish Road starting at 9 a.m. Thursday," an email said.

"The January storm we had one tide cycle, one tide cycle to deal with. This one, we're gonna have a couple, at least a couple," said Sandwich Emergency Management Director Brian Gallant. "[I'm] a little stressed out because you can't really deal with mother nature. There's not one thing you can do, 'Okay, I can do this' and stop the flooding."

In Duxbury, the fire department just acquired a high-water rescue vehicle that they plan to use during the storm.

“That storm in January there was a tremendous amount of flooding that we saw and things we are hearing so far is that this might be a little worse," Fire Capt. Rob Reardon said.