The month of March certainly came in like a lion, and let’s hope it goes out like a lamb.
Eastern coastal communities, including Revere, were battered with a nor’easter that blew in last Friday and stayed much of the weekend.
Unlike the January “Bomb Cyclone” this storm, tagged Winter Storm Riley, flooded already hard hit areas on the Winthrop Parkway, Oak Island, Bennington Street and Point of Pines on both sides.
This storm forced the closure of North Shore Road, Route 107 (the Marsh road), Mills Avenue, the Winthrop Parkway, Bennington Street and the parts of Revere Beach Boulevard. After the water receded, DPW and DCR crews worked at cleaning up the debris. Along Revere Beach Boulevard sand covered the streets and DCR crews tried to move it around. On the Winthrop Parkway rocks big and small covered the area, forcing the street to be closed until late Monday.
Mayor Brian Arrigo said, “Overall, the City was fortunate to avoid the type of serious flooding that struck south coastal cities. We were able to cope with this storm since overall weather conditions were more temperate than in January, when we faced frigid cold and deep snow.”
He added that no evacuations were necessary. Two National Guard trucks were also stationed at the Central Fire Station on Broadway.
“The DPW and our fire and police departments were well prepared. Some road closures were necessary, and other such preventative measures are always in the best interest of public safety,” Arrigo said. “The City will remain in its weather preparedness status for the incoming storm predicted for Wednesday, with DPW and public safety personnel monitoring the storm’s progress.”
Last week, winds gusted to 56 mph Friday as the third highest tide ever recorded hit the area. The Friday high tide came in at 14.67 feet compared to the Blizzard of 1978 when tides reached 15 feet.
The only way to drive North on Friday afternoon was to take Route 1.
The Revere Police Department implemented the use of its high water vehicles. The Revere Fire Department had three teams of water rescue swimmers available and Zodiac-style boats.
The sea coughed up everything from sand to rocks and even fish found swimming around in Saber Abougalala home on lower Pearl Avenue. The parking lot at the Beachmont School turned into a lake as the Belle Isle Marsh spilled over and into Bennington Street. Several cars were lost in the water.
“This storm was up there with flooding being the problem more than anything,” said Revere Fire Chief Christopher Bright. “We took a lesson from Jan. 4 and closed the roads earlier so people wouldn’t get stuck.”
Bright was disappointed to see the Point of Pines area become an island. He feels strongly about rebuilding the fire station there.
“That area is vulnerable,” he said. “We need to get that station back up.”
At 784 North Shore Road there was a sinkhole that exposed a gas line and the foundation on the home there was compromised, according to Capt. Tom Todisco. The five residents were sheltered at the Comfort Inn.
Firefighters also responded at 11:22 p.m. Friday evening to Broad Sound and Leverett Circle with its water rescue teams for a car stuck in high water and the driver on the roof of the vehicle. They successfully reached the driver.
On Saturday evening firefighters responded to 35 Gage Ave. at 9:21 pm. for a chimney fire, Todisco said. The fire spread and caused extensive damage to the dwelling.