Did you know that we’re in the middle of National Severe Weather Preparedness Week? Perfect timing considering this storm that’s currently hitting the east coast! The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) partnered up to designate the week of March 3-9th as National Weather Preparedness week and are urging Americans to Be A Force Of Nature.
There are three steps to being a force of nature; first you need to know your risk. Here in Massachusetts, our biggest risks are from snow and flooding. Storms can have a major impact on families across the state; from losing power, to damage caused by the wind and flooding, there are many risks that come along with these storms we have here in Massachusetts! Make sure you are checking the weather reports regularly as well, we all know how unpredictable the weather in New England can be. Click here to find out how you can protect your family and be better prepared for emergencies!
The next step to being a force of nature is pledging to take action! Sign the Pledge To Prepareand take the first step to making sure you and your family are prepared for severe weather in your area. This pledge includes filling out your family communications plan, putting together an emergency kit, and keeping important valuables and papers in a safe place. Another tip to keep in mind; make sure you have multiple ways to get weather alerts! You should make sure that your phone is able to receive wireless emergency alerts and sign up for alerts from different emergency management officials. You might also consider obtaining a battery-powered radio that you can listen to for updates if the power goes out. You can sign up for email and SMS alerts from the National Weather Service and National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration here.
Finally, be an example! Once you know your risk, and have taken the pledge to Be a Force of Nature, be an example! This is the final step of being a force of nature and is arguably the most important. Share your knowledge on any and all social media sites and let your friends know what you’re doing to prepare for upcoming storms! Social media and today’s technology make it easier than ever to share our experiences and knowledge with friends and family, so spread the word!
Know your risk, take action, and be an example for friends and family! Another way to prepare for a storm? Give us a call at MassDrive and get a quote for homeowner’s and auto insurance! Extreme wind and flooding can cause major problems for you, your home, and your car so make sure you have the appropriate coverages in the event of any damage! Achieving a Weather-Ready Nation is a major goal, but it’s possible with help from all of you!
Mother Nature pulled a not so funny April Fools on Massachusetts residents. The rain finally subsided in New England yesterday bringing over 18 inches of recorded rainfall, a record breaking amount. Although dry weather and warmer temperatures are foretasted for Easter weekend the flooding rivers are not expected to fall as quickly as the clearing weather. Residents, engineers and public safety officials wait for the flood warnings to be removed and clean up to commence once more.
As some rivers have yet to crest other’s levels have just begun falling. The Assabet River crested at a nerve wrecking 7 feet Wednesday and remained at 6.8 feet this morning. The Concord River crested at an enormous 9.4 feet and the Charles River continues to rise expecting to crest at about 7.7 feet this afternoon.
According to the National Weather Service El Niño, a climate pattern surfacing in the tropical Pacific every three to five years and is to blame for the high levels of rainfall this past March. Rainfall in Boston lingering around 14 inches Tuesday makes it not only the rainiest March on record, but the second wettest month ever after a rainy August in 1995.
“This is much worse than a couple weeks ago. We’ve got houses with 3, 4, 5 or even 6 feet of water in their basements.” – Ferreira
Scott LacLeod, a spokesman for the state Emergency Management Agency, said the largest concerns yesterday were in southeastern Massachusetts, where flooding mandated closure of a major highway and cut off about 1,000 residents of Freetown when a bridge was made impassable. The Massachusetts Department of Transportation reported dozens of flooded roads and caution residents to drive safely while standing water remains on the roads.
Governor Deval Patrick declared a state of emergency yesterday for the second time this month as heavy rain returns to the Bay State. The third heavy rainfall this month brought a total of 11 inches of rain to Boston, a record breaking downfall. The National Weather Service reported areas of Massachusetts experienced 12.8 inches of rain this March. The Weather Service expects this number to rise to more than 15 inches by the end of the day today. Only second to a tropical August in 1955 this is one of the wettest months areas of Massachusetts has ever experienced.
Rivers continue to rise form their already swollen state as the relentless rains continue to fall. National Guard services were activated yesterday for various precautionary tasks in an effort to curb additional flooding from residential areas and businesses. Seven hundred National Guard troops were deployed this morning to help with the storm efforts.
Monday afternoon President Obama replied to Governor Patrick’s request for federal aid declaring the state a federal disaster area bringing federal funding to Massachusetts. Patrick said the funding will be used to bring housing back to a livable state offering grants to homeowners for things such as new water heaters and furnaces for flooded basements. Business owners will also have the opportunity to apply for low interest loans.
During a press conference yesterday the Governor did not call for specific areas to be evacuated however cautioned residents to closely observe the storm and if needed be prepared to evauate. Last night the Charles and Sudbury River levels exceeded flooding stages. Patrick advocated for drivers to use public transportation warning drivers it only takes two feet of standing water to sweep a vehicle away, with the driver in it.
Governor Deval Patrick has written President Obama asking for a declaration of disaster in Massachusetts. This would bring federal funds to residents and businesses who have suffered losses from the recent storm and flooding. Patrick’s office has reported hundreds of homes suffering significant, uninsured damages; more than 1,000 experienced minor but still considerable losses; and many nursing homes have needed to be evacuated. Residents still question whether their homes are safe to live in after sustaining major damages.
His letter to the president cites the record breaking rainfall of 6 to 10 inches in some areas of Bristol, Essex, Norfolk, Middlesex, Plymouth and Suffolk counties. The letter specifically mentions the death of a Middleton resident while he was pumping water out of his business and hospitalization of a Dedham man injured when a sewer pipe burst while removing water from his basement.
“Floodwaters poured into thousands of homes and hundreds of businesses, forcing residents to evacuate and posing health risks associated with sewage backups and mold growth,”
A disaster declaration may open a verity of programs to both residents and businesses according to Peter Judge, a spokesman for the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency. Federal grants may be given to residents to make home repairs and replace heating or electrical systems. Federal funding may also help those who have been displaced due to flooding by helping pay for the temporary housing costs. Disaster programs would be made available to residents in Essex, Middlesex, Worcester, Suffolk, Norfolk, Bristol, and Plymouth counties. Last week Federal Emergency Management Agency and state emergency officials inspected flooded areas to appreciate damages suffered by homeowners.
Although the rain has held off thus far Massachusetts residents are in for another trying weekend. Pull out your winter jackets and gloves, according to the National Weather Service temperatures are to drop today and tomorrow with a chance of rain.