Forecasters warn of possible flooding due to high tides, wind

Quincy public works employees responded to homes on Lafayette Street to help pump out water from basements.
Quincy public works employees responded to homes on Lafayette Street to help pump out water from basements. –David L. Ryan/Globe Staff

Minor to moderate flooding is expected today and early Tuesday along sections of the Massachusetts coast due to high tides coupled with winds that are whipping up the ocean and pushing waves toward the land, the National Weather Service says.

In a preview of the possible problems, some areas flooded during high tide Sunday night and around noon today, including sections of Salem, Lynn, Revere, Boston, Quincy, Weymouth, Cohasset, Hull, Scituate, Duxbury, Plymouth, Sandwich, and Barnstable, according to observer reports collected by the National Weather Service.

Looking ahead to the next high tide, the weather service has issued a coastal flood warning, effective from 10 p.m. tonight to 5 a.m. Tuesday.

“Minor coastal flooding is expected during the midday high tide … but more significant moderate flooding is anticipated during this evening’s high tide cycle,’’ particularly along areas of the coast south of Boston that face north and east, the weather service said in its warning.


The weather service said there could be flooding of low-lying areas, shore roads — and people’s basements. Beaches could be devoured by pounding surf and that erosion “may become especially significant tonight’’ along the east-facing ocean side of Cape Cod.

Coastal flood warnings are issued when forecasters believe numerous road closures may be needed and people could risk their lives if they get too near to the pounding surf. Some homes may even be damaged, the service warned.

The unusually high tides are caused due to the location of the moon in relation to the sun and earth, said weather service meteorologist Alan Dunham. It happens a couple of times a year.

Forecasters issued wind advisories for areas in Essex, Plymouth, Barnstable, and Nantucket counties, warning of strong northeast or north-northeast winds, clocking up to 30 or 35 miles per hour, with gusts up to 40.

The brisk winds appeared to have caused some trouble for Logan International Airport. The airport reported on its Facebook page that a 37-foot sailboat broke free from its Winthrop mooring and ran aground near the airport, forcing the closure of Runway 9 for departures. “Flights arriving and departing Logan may experience delays,’’ the Facebook page said.

In Quincy, officials said several areas were flooded overnight.


“It’s the winds. … We have some low areas that habitually flood with this combination of weather and high tide,’’ said Quincy Fire Captain John Gillan, noting that tonight’s high tide, which will be whipped by even higher winds, is even more of a concern.

Gillan said several streets were underwater last night, but as of late morning, Lafayette Street, near where Furnace Brook dumps into the ocean, was the only street where homes were still being pumped out.

A Lafayette Street resident who identified herself only as Mrs. Callinan said in a telephone interview that at about 12:30 a.m. she heard a loud beeping noise coming from her basement.

She said her son went to check it out and found their cellar was flooded up to the windows, which are about 5 feet high.

She said the city had been working since 4 a.m. to pump the water out.

The power was cut to her home.

“I’m 79 years old. I don’t need this,’’ she said.

The city has not given Mrs. Callinan an estimate for how long it will take to get the water out. “Nobody is really saying much,’’ she said. “It’s quite a mess around the neighborhood.’’

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