With tropical storm Sandy beating down the New Jersey and New York coasts, and with Massachusetts declaring a state of emergency, Hingham officials are stepping into high gear to prepare for whatever comes their way.
The town has scheduled additional manpower for the police station, and have prepared SUVs and four-wheel drives if flooding occurs or if roads are not passable.
Additionally, the fire department is going to run several pick-up trucks, and the highway department will have full crews available and have contracted additional tree crews. The light department will be fully staffed as well to handle any downed trees.
“The town has earned a lot since hurricane Irene,” said Sgt. Steven Dearth with the Hingham Police. “We’re anticipating the latest storm effects will kick in on midnight tonight and growing stronger as the day grows on. It’s expected to peak 4 p.m. Monday.”
Flooding is expected to occur on Kilby Street, Rockland Road and some areas of Crow Point section of town, which typically flood when the tide is high and storm surge is substantial.
While Hingham is preparing for some flooding, the most trouble should come in the form of downed trees.
“We’re anticipating the most damage to be from downed wires and trees, and those tie up our resources, if you have trees or wires down, it cant be left there…and it could be hours til [someone comes],” Dearth said.
As for the harbor, the Harbormaster will not be in the water, and most of the harbor has been cleared of boats.
The National Guard has also been activated and will have units on Central Street, Dearth said.
Although Hingham has not prepared a shelter, the Red Cross will provide a shelter at Weymouth High School if needed during the storm.
As of 2:40 p.m. on Sunday, school had not been canceled, though there was still a possibility of that occurring.
“We’ll just sit and wait, but we’re more prepared than we’ve been in the last. Hurricane Irene - we learned lessons. We’re certainly ready and prepared,” Dearth said.
For tips on how to prepare and reaction during and after the hurricane, click here.
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