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Nor’easter, life-threatening flooding to sweep East Coast

  • Robin King grabs sandbags to use at his restaurant, Thursday, March 1, 2018, in Scituate, Mass., ahead of Friday's expected storm, predicted to bring high winds and the potential for coastal flooding. (Greg Derr/The Quincy Patriot Ledger via AP) Greg Derr

  • John Woodland fills a sandbag to use at his home, Thursday, March 1, 2018, in Scituate, Mass., ahead of Friday's expected storm, predicted to bring high winds and the potential for coastal flooding. (Greg Derr/The Quincy Patriot Ledger via AP) Greg Derr

  • Residents and business owners collect sandbags, Thursday, March 1, 2018, in Scituate, Mass., ahead of Friday's expected storm, predicted to bring high winds and the potential for coastal flooding. (Greg Derr/The Quincy Patriot Ledger via AP) Greg Derr

  • Provincetown DPW worker Paulo Andrade moves sand bags around the lower entrance to town hall as preparations are underway for the approaching storm, Thursday, March 1, 2018 in Provincetown, Mass. (Steve Heaslip/The Cape Cod Times via AP) Steve Heaslip/Cape Cod Times

  • AmeriCorps worker Conor Terry lugs sandbags to a storage area at the town's DPW facility as preparations are underway for the approaching storm, Thursday, March 1, 2018 in Provincetown, Mass. (Steve Heaslip/The Cape Cod Times via AP) Steve Heaslip/Cape Cod Times

  • Brian Croteau loads sandbags onto his bike for a short ride back to his Commercial Street home to help secure it as preparations are underway for the approaching storm, Thursday, March 1, 2018 in Provincetown, Mass. (Steve Heaslip/The Cape Cod Times via AP) Steve Heaslip

  • Sandbags fill the boat ramp at Outermost Harbor Marine in Chatham, Mass., on Thursday as crews move the last of several boats to safer locations in preparation for the approaching storm. Steve Heaslip / Cape Cod Times



Associated Press
Thursday, March 01, 2018

Airlines, officials and residents braced Thursday for potentially widespread coastal flooding from a major nor’easter bearing down on a large swath of the East coast.

Heavy rain, intermittent snow and high winds with gusts exceeding 50 mph are expected as the storm moves up the Eastern seaboard, beginning in New York and Connecticut on Thursday evening.

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker activated 200 National Guard members to help with the storm. “We’re expecting to see more severe flooding issues here than we did in the Jan. 4 storm,” when a nor’easter lashed the region with heavy snow and rain, he said.

Locals were taking matters into their own hands. In Duxbury, south of Boston, officials urged residents to evacuate as soon as possible, and the fire department was preparing to use a high water rescue vehicle for the first time to help any residents who wind up stuck in homes during high floodwaters.

Michelle Shaffer, 45, of the coastal Massachusetts town of Hull, lost her appliances under 5 feet of water during the last big storm.

“I have a new washer, and my boyfriend just built a wooden platform for it. We got a couple of sump pumps,” said Shaffer, who planned to evacuate to high ground Thursday night. “This storm is going to be worse because it’s going over three high tides,” she said.

The Coast Guard advised boaters to exercise “vigilance and extreme caution.”

In New Jersey, officials worried that the storm could take a chunk out of beaches just south of Atlantic City that are still being repaired because of damage from previous storms.

Across the East Coast, authorities have told residents of coastal communities to be prepared to evacuate if necessary in advance of Friday morning’s high tide. The National Weather Service said all of Rhode Island was under flood and high wind watches from Friday through much of Sunday morning.

Airlines were making their own preparations. Delta, Southwest, JetBlue and American Airlines were allowing travelers to change their Friday and Saturday flights ahead of time to avoid delays and cancellations at key airports across the Northeast.

Regional power utilities said they had extra crews on standby to deal with expected outages.