Metro

Marshfield officials assessing damage from blizzard

MARSHFIELD — Jennifer Bruno returned to Ocean Street Wednesday to find that the blizzard of 2015 had ripped open the multifamily home where she lived, filling her living room and kitchen with rocks and debris.

Bruno said she was stunned by the damage.

“I couldn’t believe it,” she said. “It’s destroyed.”

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Roiled by the whistling winds of the Blizzard of 2015, the Atlantic Ocean breached portions of two sea walls on Tuesday, one off Ocean Street where Bruno lived and a second on Bay Avenue.

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“That’s a major problem,” Marshfield Police Chief Phillip Tavares said of the breach on Ocean Street, which authorities only confirmed at daybreak Wednesday.

About 1,000 residents were without electricity, and one person remained at a shelter operated by the town, Tavares said.

The Ocean Street sea wall breach increased flooding in that area during Tuesday evening’s high tide, and the full extent of the damage is still being assessed, Tavares said.

“It’s pretty bad,” Tavares said.

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At least five homes have been condemned and others have been damaged, Tavares said. He said US Representative William Keating had inquired about the storm’s toll on the community.

“We’re going to have to just wait and see and assess and evaluate what has been done,” Tavares said. “We’re going to pull through this.”

Tim Mannix tried to ride out the storm on Ocean Street. The 58 year-old fisherman ended up being evacuated Tuesday morning by a front-end loader.

“I’ve been here for 50 years, and I didn’t want to leave. Who leaves?” he said. “This is definitely the worst I’ve been through.”

“I was pushing my dinner table against the sliding glass door to hold it in place, and — kapow! — I never saw it coming. I went down,” he said as he stood in front of the two-story house he grew up in.

At the height of high tide Tuesday night, homes and businesses were surrounded by the ocean flooding over the seawall in the Brant Rock section of Marshfield.
John Tlumacki/Globe Staff
At the height of high tide Tuesday night, homes and businesses were surrounded by the ocean flooding over the sea wall in the Brant Rock section of Marshfield.

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“I knew I was in trouble when I looked in the mirror,” he said.

He called 911, and Marshfield police arranged for a front-end loader to pick him up from his flooded yard.

He said he had spent Tuesday in the hospital. He suffered a broken nose and received about 22 stitches for a cut that runs from above his left eye to the top of his nose.

A hole in the wall of his house had exposed his living room to the ocean’s destruction. His basement floor was strewn with rocks the size of bowling balls and furniture that had apparently floated randomly around the room.

He managed to crack a smile, even though he was sure his house would be condemned. “Some of the furniture I can save,” he said.

He told a neighbor, “I have no idea what I’ll do. For now I’m staying with a friend.”

Jim Asadoorian, who lives on Shawmut Avenue, said he had been without electricity since 5 a.m. Tuesday and has no heat or hot water. His gas stove, however, was operational.

“It’s not warm. Far from warm,” he said of the conditions inside his home. The 72-year-old Asadoorian spoke as he walked through the town’s Esplanade business district, where many utility crews were staged.

Bruno said she rode out the blizzard at the home of a friend, who lives away from the coast.

A sergeant in the Army National Guard, Bruno said she was able to salvage some clothing, a photograph of herself from when she was younger, a cross, and a sword displaying her deployments to Iraq.

She said she would find a new place to live.

“I’m going to take it day by day,” Bruno said.

Laura Crimaldi can be reached at laura.crimaldi@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @lauracrimaldi.