SCITUATE, Mass. (WPRI) – Following the battering waves and coastal flooding caused by January’s major storm, coastal Massachusetts isn’t taking any chances with the incoming nor’easter.
Communities including Duxbury, Plymouth, Scituate, the Cape and islands, and others experienced high surf and street flooding earlier in the year.
In preparation for the upcoming storm, the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency is strongly recommending that residents who live in vulnerable coastal areas evacuate to higher ground.
“We’re anticipating higher seas, higher storms, and more flooding damage from this storm, over a much longer period than we had from the January storm,” Scituate Town Administrator James Boudreau said.
At a briefing on Thursday, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker warned coastal residents that this storm may out-perform the blizzard back in January.
“We’re expecting to see flooding to the same level or higher in prone areas along the majority of our coastline,” Baker said. “While crews were able to perform rescues in-between high tide cycles in January, it’s possible that first responders will be unable to reach all flooded areas at peak high tide tomorrow.”
Business owner Julie Barry is heeding Baker’s advice this time around. She learned the hard way back in January after her salon flooded.
“Be prepared,” Barry said. “We weren’t last time, so, we’re trying a little harder this time.”
Baker also activated the Massachusetts National Guard in preparation for the storm, according to Lt. Col. Lisa Ahaesy.
“The Guard will deploy more than 50 high water vehicles throughout 17 municipalities, as well as, stage additional high water vehicles at several Massachusetts State Police barracks and at Joint Base Cape Cod to provide regional support as needed,” Ahaesy said in a statement.
In Plymouth, crews are laying sandbags down in front of businesses and road blocks in preparation for the storm. Rocks are still scattered over the barrier from the storm back in January.
“People are getting excited but people have gone through this so many times,” Plymouth resident Bob Remillard said. “It comes over the rocks and everything, it can really get messy up there.”
The Coast Guard is also asking everyone to avoid the shores and to stay out of the water.