Coastal Mass. residents brace for stormy seas

Joe Norton dismantled a deck damaged from a previous storm in Scituate. Coastal residents have been advised to leave as a new storm nears.
Jonathan Wiggs/Globe Staff
Joe Norton dismantled a deck damaged from a previous storm in Scituate. Coastal residents have been advised to leave as a new storm nears.

Massachusetts coastal communities braced for snow, rain, and winds on Thursday that are expected to whip up the ocean and flood a shoreline already ravaged by the Blizzard of 2013.

“It’s been a tough stretch with these last couple of nor’easters,” said Bruce Carlisle, director of the state’s Office of Coastal Zone Management.

Forecasters are predicting high winds over a 36-hour period starting later Thursday and continuing into Friday, with gusts reaching 40 to 50 miles per hour, Carlisle said.


The snow and rain from the storm were expected to begin on Wednesday night and increase in intensity on Thursday, forecasters said.

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The National Weather Service in Taunton on Wednesday forecasted 25- to 30-foot seas across ocean waters off Eastern Massachusetts and issued a coastal flood warning that will remain in effect from 5 a.m. Thursday until 10 a.m. Friday.

John Tlumacki/Globe Staff
A loader in Winthrop piled beach sand to form a makeshift berm to protect oceanfront homes on Yirrell Beach.

Peter Judge, a spokesman for the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency, said some coastal communities are asking residents to leave their homes ahead of time.

“There have been evacuation requests, [including] in Scituate,” Judge said. “Basically a lot of communities down there are doing . . . reverse 911 calls encouraging them to leave a number of hours before the scheduled high tide.”

Scituate officials said schools would be closed Thursday and have advised residents along the coast to evacuate “no later than three hours before high tide.”


Also, nonemergency travel in coastal areas has been prohibited, according to the town’s website.

In Marshfield, crews have been working to reinforce areas hard-hit by erosion from previous storms, including the seawall protecting the town.

The street side of the seawall has been filled with as much stone and gravel as possible to prevent any more erosion, which is a serious concern, said Department of Public Works superintendent Tom Reynolds.

Hull officials have been meeting since Tuesday night to prepare for the storm, cautioning residents to prepare for power outages and those in low-lying areas were cautioned to seek higher ground, if possible.

“This one could be pretty hard,” said Town Manager Philip E. Lemnios.


The state’s Department of Conservation and Recreation has declared a parking ban on Winthrop Shore Drive in Winthrop, and Revere Beach Boulevard in Revere starting at 11 p.m. Wednesday until further notice, said department spokeswoman SJ Port.

By Friday, snowfall tallies in the rest of Massachusetts could reach up to 5 inches in the Boston area, 8 inches in Central Massachusetts, and up to 6 inches in the western part of the state, the Weather Service said in an advisory Wednesday.

The snowfall is not expected to be as significant as in the previous two storms that battered Massachusetts, but the Department of Transportation still plans to pretreat roads with salt.

Sara Lavoie, a department spokeswoman, said in an e-mail that “our goal is to be on the roads pretreating about three hours before the storm begins.” She said the state has ample equipment on hand, including pumps for flooding.

Despite predictions of a messy end to the work week, weekend relief is in sight.

Saturday and Sunday will see mostly sunny skies and highs in the low- to mid-40s, though the storm’s northeasterly winds will linger, forecasters said.

Weather Service meteorologist Charlie Foley urged Bay Staters to have patience.

“Hold out to the weekend and you’re fine,” he said.

Globe correspondent Lauren Dezenski contributed to this report. Sarah N. Mattero can be reached at Andersen can be reached at