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Hull preparing for next high tides while dealing with flooded streets

Posted by Jessica Bartlett  March 7, 2013 09:33 AM

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Hull officials were already making preparations to deal with upcoming high tides after seeing several streets flooded Thursday morning from the storm’s first coastal surge.

According to Fire Chief and Emergency Management Director Robert Hollingshead, Gunrock Ave, Nantasket Ave by the Sewer Treatment Plant, and Stony Beach had approximately a foot of water, and were impassable for two hours.

“There is still residual standing ocean water,” Hollingshead said.

Schools were closed in Hull on Thursday, however a determination of school closings on Friday wouldn’t be made till after 10 a.m., Hollingshead said.

Though flooding had been a problem in expected areas, Hollingshead said otherwise the town had fared okay in the early hours of the storm.

There had been no power outages reported, and tree limbs had not yet been a problem.

Yet Hollingshead recognized that the storm was far from over.

“We have a 10 a.m. Emergency Management meeting, and we will have the highway dept out rebuilding the sand dunes that were washed away with the first high tide,” Hollingshead said. “They will be pushing back and building up the dunes for tonight’s and tomorrows tide. We’re trying to take a proactive approach and minimizing damage by rebuilding the dunes as best we can.”

The town’s Department of Public Works along with the state Department of Conservation and Recreation was also working to clear cobble and stones from roadways that saw over wash during the first high tide.

National Guard members were on standby in the town Thursday morning in case evacuations were necessary.

Officials suggested coastal residents evacuate for the Thursday morning high tide, as is common during storm events. However the fire department has yet to go door-to-door.

The two upcoming high tide cycles, a 8.98 foot tide scheduled for 7:37 p.m. Thursday evening and a 10.16 foot one at 7:57 a.m. Friday morning, may make evacuations more urgent, especially if the wind keeps the bay areas from draining during low tide.

“We’ll have to see. We evaluate the tide flow, 4-5 hours before the high tide to see if the bay areas have evacuated,” Hollingshead said. “If the bay is low at all, it gives us a good indication of what to expect for high tide and the need for evacuations. Right now I don’t see us getting into the door-to-door, but we will wait and see.”

While much of the storm’s severity is up to Mother Nature, Hollingshead urged residents to be aware.

“As always we ask that people are prepared and do not take the ocean for granted,” he said. “Every storm is different and we ask people to pay attention to local media and news on TV and local cable channels for updates.”

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