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Quincy warns of tough morning commute, coastal flooding Friday

Posted by Jessica Bartlett  March 7, 2013 04:32 PM

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Quincy residents are cautioned that Friday morning’s commute will most likely be worse than Thursday’s ,as storm conditions worsen Thursday evening into Friday.

The prospect is a harrowing one, as Thursday’s commute saw the closure of one lane on Quincy Shore Drive, and the temporary closure of Morrissey Boulevard, Quincy officials said.

An accident on the northern side of the Neponset River Bridge didn’t help matters.

“The confluence of rush hour events which made for a painful commute and people should be aware that tomorrow’s commute will be the same if not worse considering the tide schedule,” said mayoral spokesperson Christopher Walker.

For coastal residents, traffic isn’t as important as the tide, which has continued to be their main concern as Quincy enters two high tide cycles – one Thursday evening at 7:33 p.m. (a 9.19 foot high tide without storm surge), and one Friday morning at 7:54 a.m. (10.4 feet high without storm surge).

Officials are more concerned about the Friday morning event, and have planned to reactivate the city’s Emergency Management Operation at 4 a.m.

Police and Fire crews will be on hand with Humvees to handle any problems.

The city’s Department of Public Works has cleaned the outfall pipe at Edgewater Drive.

Emergency equipment had also been staged at each of the peninsulas, which can sometimes turn into islands due to flooded roads, since Thursday evening.

So far, things looked promising; Post Island Road’s marsh was allowed to drain, which will allow some capacity to handle the storm surge Friday morning.

“We’re going to play it as it may need to be,” Walker said. “Tomorrow morning, as we have done previously, police and fire will be out in those neighborhoods. Police will be patrolling with Humvees and visiting those neighborhoods and allowing voluntary evacuations as necessary.”

Walker said the city would assess conditions before going door-to-door.

The DPW was also preparing for both a coastal and snow event Thursday evening.

“We’re ready,” DPW Commissioner Daniel Raymondi said. “We’ve got both operations going - coastal storm flooding prep part of the job as well as the snow, so we’re ready. We have sandbags ready, pumps ready, plows will be coming in. this has been one of the most erratic predictions, difficult because of the rain/slush/snow mix, but we’ll be ready for it.”

Plowing efforts probably wouldn’t begin till later Thursday, as the snow was just starting to stick at around 4:30 p.m., Raymondi said.

Though the city has a long night and morning ahead of them, it fare well through the first part of the storm.

Quincy saw minimal sea water collecting in flood-prone areas Thursday morning, such as near the tide gate at Post Island Road, but it was “nothing serious so far,” Walker said.

Power outages were minimal and scattered throughout the city. Precipitation had been light, and so inland flooding in low-lying areas hadn’t yet occurred.

Though the wind was blowing at 28 miles per hour, there hadn’t been widespread reports of trees down.

For more updates, click here.

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