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Quincy officials optimistic as they prep for coastal flooding

Posted by Jessica Bartlett  March 6, 2013 01:01 PM

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Quincy officials say their flood-control equipment is on standby as they watch how Thursday’s storm will play out on their coast.

Mayor Thomas Koch met with emergency response teams on Wednesday afternoon to go over a game plan, said mayoral spokesman Christopher Walker, and teams were at the ready to deal with whatever may come.

“At the moment, the primary concern appears to be coastal issues and the amount of rain we may get, and so those will be the focal point of the preparation,” Walker said. “We’ll be talking with DPW, Fire Department, and the Police Department on deployment of resources, getting those pumps and emergency pumps in places we need to have them in anticipation of high tides, and keeping an eye on other low lying areas of the city that may have an issue with the ground being saturated, and there may be some concern of flooding.”

Coastal residents had been through similar events a countless number of times, Walker said, and they know the drill.

“They need to keep a close eye on the weather forecast, on what's happening outside of their homes, and be prepared to potentially get out of Dodge if necessary,” he said.

Despite the town's experience of dealing with bad weather, City Councilor Margaret Laforest said her phone has been ringing with concerned questions from coastal homeowners.

“Wind direction is key as to which neighborhood bears the brunt,” she wrote on her Facebook page. “More east - it's coming at Edgewater. More North - Manet Ave, Post Island, Adams Shore, and Merrymount. While I've already sent a series of emails to our DPW Commissioner regarding tide gates catch basins, outfalls, seawalls, etc., we'll be touching base later regarding the game plan.”

According to Walker, the city has 75 pumps to deploy, and all the tide gates have been shut in anticipation of extra water.

Though coastal residents need to be prepared, Walker said officials are grateful that the tide won’t be an astronomically high one, and varying forecasts mean the city isn’t expecting a worst-case scenario.

“At this point we’re not expecting the worst, but we’re planning for it,” Walker said.

Power outages are anticipated in some areas near the ocean, with wind gusts ratcheting as high as 50 miles an hour.

“There very well could be [power outages]. That’s difficult to anticipate, but we anticipate National Grid is gearing up on their end as we are on our end,” Walker said.

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