Heavy surf churned up by an ocean gale continues to pound the Massachusetts shoreline today, raising concerns about flooding and erosion.
“We’re getting 8-to-10-foot seas out there, not too far offshore,” said Alan Dunham, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Taunton. “With those kinds of waves, we’ll be seeing continued beach erosion today, tonight and tomorrow.”
A gale warning is in effect until this evening for the waters off the coast (excluding Boston Harbor) and waters south of Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket. A coastal flood advisory is in effect until 4 p.m. today for vulnerable coastal areas.
High tide will occur around 1:56 p.m. today, but Dunham said, “It will be really minor – more splashover than anything else.”
An inlet in Chatham, which formed about three years ago, has been experiencing extensive erosion on a continuous basis, said Ted Keon, coastal resource director for Chatham. Waters rise higher than they used to in Pleasant Bay and Chatham Harbor, and each storm exacerbates flooding and beach erosion in the area.
“At one of the town landings directly across from the new inlet, much of the parking lot has been damaged and is breaking apart,” Keon said.
“It’s impacting landings that have not experienced that type of tidal action or wave action in the recent past,” said Jeff Colby, superintendent of the public works department.
The northern coast of an island between the new inlet and old inlet is eroding, increasingly exposing the dune system and causing significant flooding around some of the 10 cottages on stilts on the island.
“The cottages are much more exposed and vulnerable than they were a few months ago,” Keon said.
High tides over the past few days have filled seaside streets in Scituate with stones and sand, said Edward Gibbons, assistant harbormaster. He shoveled the stones and sand off of sidewalks near the harbor Wednesday, and this morning they were covered again.
“We’re been consistently cleaning up every time there is one of these big storms,” Gibbons said.
Homes on the bluffs in southern Plymouth are always a concern, said Plymouth Deputy Fire Chief Michael Young. The town has also experienced continuous flooding of its brook, Eel River, and the Plymouth beach area, he said. Jack Mahoney, assistant harbormaster in the town, said the high tide early this morning caused some splashover but has receded since.
Clouds will continue dropping rain and snow on southeast Massachusetts, the Cape and islands today, with high temperatures in the upper 30s. Snow may fall this evening, with low temperatures in the upper 20s and up to an inch may accumulate. The Cape may see some flurries Friday morning, and morning skies may be cloudy in the Greater Boston area but clear up to let sunshine through by the afternoon.
Skies will be cloudy and partly sunny on Friday, with a high around 40 degrees. Friday night will be mostly clear, with lows in the upper-20s.
Through the weekend, Dunham said, “We’re still looking at gorgeous sunny skies.”
Temperatures are predicted to reach a high around 49 degrees on Saturday and 52 degrees on Sunday. This spring-like weather will continue through the beginning of next week, until it cools down on Wednesday, Dunham said.
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