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Scituate officials say they're fortunate storm wasn't more severe

Posted by Jessica Bartlett  June 5, 2012 11:58 AM

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Scituate residents and officials say they were well prepared for Monday night’s storm, which caused some flooding in downtown and the low-lying areas of Scituate, but didn’t leave much damage.

According to Department of Public Works Director Al Bangert, there was some stone over-wash at Lighthouse Point and a few places on Oceanside drive, but there was no significant damage.

“Fortunately, no damage to report, no big event here. We’re just hardy New Englanders,” he joked.

Fire Department Deputy John Murphy reaffirmed that things could have been much worse. “We lucked out. The wind died down and turned to the north an hour before the storm, so we were fortunate in many areas,” Murphy said.

It was a good turn of events for the coastal community, as the tide was a staggering 12 feet 4 inches high, Murphy said, the highest on record since 1991.

As a result, Cole Parkway and The Mill Wharf, areas that kiss the water behind Front Street – were underwater by at least two feet last night. At one point, the bottoms of the boats in the marina were higher than street level, Murphy said.

“That’s how high the water came in. They were affected more from the rise. Sand Hills [and Egypt Beach are usually] affected by wind, which died down. But downtown got water from the rise itself,” Murphy said.

A waterfront resident, Murphy said he was grateful for how things turned out.

“I live down the water and it thought it would be worse. We’re prepared as much as we can be…there was some flooding in coastal areas, but mostly minor. We’ll take that when we can get it,” he said.

Other residents in the area had also prepared for havoc.

According to Turner Road resident Dan Farrington, he and his wife, Donna, stayed at the Inn at Scituate Harbor Monday night in case things got too rough at their home.

With a house next to the seawall breach that broke in December 2010, which has since been temporarily repaired with rip rap, they weren’t quite sure what might happen.

Tuesday morning, however, things seemed under control.

“The house is okay, and Turner Road and Oceanside Drive displayed areas of storm surge wash and debris in the roadway, but overall the neighborhood fared very well in comparison to similar storms of the past,” Farrington said.

“Part of Lighthouse Road was impassable due to some debris but I have seen worse in the past there, and the DPW had a crew onsite promptly this [morning]. I did expect the storm to be worse than it was, but of course pleased it was not.”

As for Tuesday night, safety personnel expect Scituate to receive some additional minor flooding, similar to Monday.

According to Murphy, town officials expect the tide to be almost as high, at 12 feet 3 inches. Lighthouse Road, Mill Whard, Cole Parkway, and some roads in First and Second Cliff might see some flooding.

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