Torrential rains spare Winthrop

Wednesday, March 31, 2010
By Joe Domelowicz

As communities across eastern Massachusetts dealt with historic flooding problems caused by three days of rain from Monday to Wednesday, the town of Winthrop made it through largely unscathed, as a low astronomical high tide and winds out of the south and west, helped to keep storm surge low and ocean waters where they belong.

“We really haven’t had many problems with this storm,” said Fire Chief Paul Flanagan, who also serves as the town’s public safety director during emergency situations. “There hasn’t been any real coastal flooding generated for Winthrop by this storm and the worst of the rainfall has come during low tides, so other than some basement flooding, things have been relatively quiet.”

The same cannot be said in neighboring Revere and East Boston, which both saw some street closures because of the heavy rains.

“For us to really get impacted by flooding, we really need to see tides above 13-feet,” explained Flanagan. “With this storm, the astronomical high tide was only at 11 and a half feet and we were not expecting the storm surge to produce more than six inches or so. The golf course is under water again, just as it was two weeks ago, but that’s about it.”

As of Tuesday afternoon, the department had only received one phone call for help with basement flooding.

“People are just starting to get home from work now and they’re going to be checking their basements and I imagine that we’ll get some calls for help with pump outs,” said Flanagan. “But, we’ve been fortunate, we haven’t had water pooling in the streets and we haven’t had to close any roads. I am confident that we’re going to get through this storm without any major problems or flooding issues, at least in terms of streets.”

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