Drivers get ‘wicked’ helpful flood alert
State officials tried this week to inject a little humor into the flooding that shut down parts of Morrissey Boulevard in Dorchester during the morning commute yesterday.
The state Department of Conservation and Recreation posted a warning about the flooding on electronic signs using phrasing designed to appeal to Massachusetts locals: “Wicked High Tides.’’
And sure enough the flooding closed several lanes of Morrissey Boulevard, snarling traffic between 7 a.m. and 11 a.m. yesterday.
Department spokeswoman SJ Port said workers had installed the two signs on the road earlier in the week in anticipation of the flooding. The signs were designed to alert drivers who may not notice a more typical message, Port said, and also to have fun with the local lingo.
“Our field staff has a good sense of humor and knows that when you’re sitting in traffic oftentimes you might drive right by those’’ signs, she said.
Flooding on Memorial Drive in Cambridge also closed off parts of that road at around the same time yesterday, Port said.
The lunar cycle is approaching a new moon, a period that creates extreme tides that can lead to flooding.
“Basically the [moon] and the high tides means that the tides get above 11 feet, which means that they tend to flood Morrissey,’’ she said.
Her agency is urging drivers to avoid Morrissey for several more days - during the mornings through Saturday, and then again during midday from Sunday through Tuesday.
Eleanor Vallier-Talbot, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Taunton, said in a phone interview that the flooding risk is heightened as the lunar cycle approaches a full moon or a new moon, particularly in the late fall and during the spring.
“More energy is exerted on the earth from the moon that allows the tides to increase,’’ she said. “They’re called moon tides.’’
She said that while tides reached dangerous levels yesterday along the South Shore, flooding is not expected to occur during the rest of the week.