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Scituate final storm high tide brings moderate coastal flooding

Posted by Jessica Bartlett  March 8, 2013 07:55 AM

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Central Avenue in Humarock flooded Friday. Photo courtesy of Scituate Police Department

Scituate officials said the final storm high tide at 7:49 a.m. would bring moderate coastal flooding, but didn’t expect it to be as bad as last month's blizzard, dubbed Nemo.

An hour before high tide, Deputy Fire Chief John Murphy said several Scituate streets began flooding, including the Sandhills area, Lighthouse Road, Turner Road, Oceanside Drive, Edward Foster Road, and Rebecca Road.

Small pockets of the Minot neighborhood along with the north end of Humarock neighborhood were also taking on water.

The previous two high tides Thursday morning and Thursday afternoon saw coastal flooding 15 minutes before the high tide barreled into town. Though Friday morning streets were seeing water coming onto the streets an hour before, Murphy said the conditions still weren’t as bad as the storm a month prior.

“Nemo’s tide was coming in strong two hours before the high tide, this one just started an hour before. I would expect half of what we got with Nemo but still considerable flooding,” he said.

Residents have been urged to evacuate since the start of the storm Thursday morning. The town has continued to encourage people to leave with reverse 9-1-1 calls and web-blasts.

The warnings caused an estimated 10 people to show up to the shelter Thursday night and Friday morning.

In a web blast Friday morning, town officials said they were evacuating people from the coast, and Murphy said the town had prepared fire officials in suits and had boats at the ready to do so.

However residents along Lighthouse Road said they were staying put.

"[I] like to know whats going on. I would be more uncomfortable being away from the house and worried about what’s happening," said Melissa Marram, who lives at 78 Lighthouse Road. "I feel like I can better protect the house if I'm home."

Marram said majority of her neighbors have stayed through the storm, which was harrowing at night and vicious Friday morning.

Yet since the high tide at around 8 a.m., things have calmed down.

"It's getting better, you can see the water is going down on the harborside," she said, noting that Lighthouse and Rebecca Roads were still both impassable.

Whether or not Scituate was through the worst of it was still unknown.

"They are starting to talk about [tonight's high tide] on the news, so it's making me a little concerned, but there isn’t much you can do," Marram said. "You make a choice to live here. You know you’re going to get wet eventually."

Though town officials initially had school starting just two hours late, the snow and weather conditions soon had canceled school yet again.

On Twitter, parents mentioned concern that they would still be sending their kids to school in April to make up the days.

Though the snow and wind has proved problematic for school scheduling, otherwise the cleanup has been a minor issue.

“We have National Grid trucks in town and they have done a great job keeping up with everything,” Murphy said.

On their power outage map, National Grid showed less than 100 people without power as of Friday morning.

“[Power outages] has been a minor issue so far. Most of your weak trees are gone. Right now we’re expecting normal snow hindrance, but this is more of a coastal event for us now until noon…hopefully everyone has evacuated that needed to and we’ll get through this no problems,” Murphy said.

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