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Posts Tagged ‘weather

Cape and Islands hardest hit by the heavy rains

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Published on April 14, 2011 in The Boston Globe, page B5

shared byline with Katherine Landergan

The Cape and Islands received the brunt of a storm that dumped buckets of rain on Massachusetts yesterday.

By 7:30 last night, 4.89 inches of rain had fallen in Falmouth, the National Weather Service in Taunton reported.

In Vineyard Haven on Martha’s Vineyard, 4.84 inches had fallen by 7:30 p.m., the weather service said.

A weather service map indicated there was a small swath of very heavy precipitation during the storm that stretched from the Vineyard into the Falmouth area in the Upper Cape.

“I haven’t seen this much water in about 10 years,” said John McCarthy, a manager at Cape Cod Campresort & Cabins in Falmouth. “It’s been quite disruptive.”

McCarthy said he did not have any outdoor workers come in yesterday to his 55-acre facility because he knew the rain was coming. The power had gone out three times, and some of his phone lines went down, he said.

“I have 2 feet of water in the ball field,” he said. “It’s been a mess.”

After 7 a.m., the Falmouth Fire Department made several trips to rescue people from their cars, said Captain Michael White. In some areas, the water was 3 feet deep.

“A lot of the side roads and the Main Street area are flooded, and we’ve had to go out a few times to get people out of vehicles,” said White. “But everyone is OK. It’s the issue of people driving through puddles and not making it.”

Several police stations in Martha’s Vineyard said they did not have any flooding issues or have to rescue anyone, despite the heavy rainfall.

The heavy rains also affected commuters traveling on Interstate 95 over the Pawtucket Bridge just over the border in Rhode Island, where the high-speed north and south lanes were shut down due to flooding, the Rhode Island Department of Transportation said. A damaged drainage pipe caused the water buildup, and crews worked to remove the water.

The National Weather Service issued a flood warning for the Connecticut River basin yesterday, as well, extending from Montague to Middleton, Conn., along with areas in Springfield and Greenfield.

Kyle Cogswell, a firefighter at the Turners Falls Fire Department, reported light flooding along the river.

The weather service forecasted a spot shower or two after midnight.

Today is expected to be slightly cloudy with a break of sunshine at midday. Highs will rise to the upper 50s to low 60s, with slightly colder temperatures forecast for Cape Cod and the Islands.

Sunny skies are forecast for tomorrow, and highs will be around 50.

It will be mostly cloudy Saturday, with another rain system moving in that evening through Sunday night.

Written by jdunccc

April 14, 2011 at 9:11 am

Posted in The Boston Globe

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Flood warnings issued for parts of state, but no problems reported yet

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Published on March 7, 2011 in The Boston Globe MetroDesk Blog

-shared byline with Katherine Landergan and Stewart Bishop

The National Weather Service issued flood warnings for parts of Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut today due to a combination of snow melt and a rainy weekend pushing some rivers toward flood stage.

Rebecca Gould, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Taunton, said a flood warning was in effect for all of Worcester County and for several rivers in the Bay State.

The weather service is urging residents along the Nashua, Sudbury, Assabet, Westfield, Shawsheen and Squannacook rivers to keep an eye on the river heights and to keep children away from the river and any nearby culverts.

In a warning issued today, the weather service singled out the Sudbury River near the Saxonville neighborhood in Framingham, the Squannacook River in west Groton, the Assabet River in Maynard, and the Nashua in east Pepperell.

The most significant flooding in the region is expected to come from the Assabet River near Maynard, Gould said, where waters are expected to surge to six feet tomorrow afternoon.

The Weather Service warned the flooding could affect areas along the river from Concord to Hudson and warned that some roadways could be washed out, and properties may have to be evacuated.

Gould warned the flooding of the Assabet could stretch into Thursday, when one to three inches of rain is expected to fall in Southern New England, exacerbating the situation.

“With the possibility of more rain Thursday, I expect it will take a while,” Gould said

Fortunately, most of the flooding in the region is expected to be minor, Gould said.

Peter Judge, spokesman for the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency, said there were no reports of dangerous flood conditions anywhere in the state today.

”There are all sorts of warnings, but fortunately we don’t have any issues at this point,’ Judge said. “We will be monitoring it. … In flooding, fortunately, there is a delay factor.’’

Around the region, local authorities were beginning to grapple with the surging waters.

In Fitchburg, Fire Chief Kevin Roy said his department began responding to calls of flooding basements early this morning. Roy said about half a dozen roads in the area were closed, but said overall the water’s effects were relatively minor.

“We haven’t had any severe washouts at this point,” he said, explaining there have not been any extreme calls yet today.

In Billerica, the Fire Department is “definitely anticipating” flooding to start early Tuesday morning because of water levels in the Shawsheen River, fire officials said.

Judge said people who have chronic flooding concerns in their basements, backyards, or on their street should be alert to the changing conditions, but said conditions were not expected to worsen significantly.

“There is no hot spot or something that we are really concerned about at this point,’’ Judge said.

Written by jdunccc

March 7, 2011 at 3:20 pm

Posted in MetroDesk Blog, The Boston Globe

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Rain will slow, winds will rise and temperatures will drop tonight

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Published on February 25, 2011 in The Boston Globe MetroDesk Blog

-Shared byline with Katherine Landergan

The heavy rain and warm temperatures will taper off tonight, leaving behind some puddles, some ponding on roads and flooded streets. But officials said today they are not yet worrying about widespread flooding from rivers and streams in the state.

“At this point we aren’t seeing or hearing of any significant river flooding,” Scott MacLeod, spokesman for Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency, said this afternoon.

He said the main flooding concern is more localized, specifically for basements in areas more prone to flooding. Currently, MEMA has noticed ponding of water, a buildup of water on roadways and some standing water, but none have caused serious problems, he said.

The National Weather Service this afternoon issued a flood advisory to most of Massachusetts and parts of Rhode Island and New Hampshire as a result of the long duration rainstorm.

“The focus is on street and poor drainage flooding, and not the rivers and streams,’’ said meteorologist Charlie Foley. “A concern for many people will be water in their basement.’’

The Weather Service is also continuing to warn about dangerously strong winds for Eastern Massachusetts, a concern that was earlier limited to the southeastern corner of the state, Cape Cod and the Islands.

The wind advisory will remain in effect until early Saturday morning and is issued when forecasts show sustained winds between 31 and 39 miles an hour, the Weather Service said. Wind gusts could reach 57 miles an hour, the Weather Service said.

Temperatures will drop overnight into the low 20s for the Boston area and to lower levels in the suburbs, freezing any standing water, the Weather Service said.

Tomorrow, temperatures in Boston will be in the low 30s, but a warming trend – along with more precipitation — is expected for the first part of next week, according to the Weather Service.

 

Written by jdunccc

February 25, 2011 at 12:00 am

Posted in MetroDesk Blog, The Boston Globe

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A night of bitter cold to be followed by sunny skies, weather service says

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Published on February 22, 2011 in The Boston Globe MetroDesk Blog

-Shared byline with Katherine Landergan

Bitter cold will envelop the region tonight as temperatures plummet below zero in the northern and western suburbs while Boston will confront relatively mild temperatures in the teens, according to the National Weather Service.

The Cape and Islands will be the warmest in the region with overnight temperatures in the 20s, according to the weather service.

But the cold should soon fade away.

Under mostly sunny skies, the temperatures will rebound to the mid and upper 30s tomorrow, according to the weather service. On Thursday, highs will also be in the upper 30s to 40s, and lows will be in the upper teens.

Increased clouds will be floating above the state Thursday. A mix of sleet and snow is forecast for late Thursday through Friday night, although the weather service says it may be just rain or snow depending on the temperature.

“At this point it could go either way – it could rain or it could snow,” he said.

 

Written by jdunccc

February 22, 2011 at 12:00 am

Posted in MetroDesk Blog, The Boston Globe

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Temperatures expected to rise into the mid-40s next week

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Published on February 11, 2011 in The Boston Globe MetroDesk Blog

Temperatures are expected to rise this weekend — raising winter-weary spirits along with them, hopefully — and sunny skies and highs in the 40s are expected next week, forecasters said today.

The weekend will boast high temperatures in the mid-30s with a mix of sunny and cloudy skies. A small snow or rain shower is anticipated Sunday night into Monday morning in the Boston area, though, National Weather Service meteorologist Alan Dunham said.

“This is not going to be any big thing, just a little disturbance passing through,” he said.

Temperatures will drop Tuesday with the high anticipated to be around 30 degrees, but will warm up again Wednesday, with highs in the upper 30s. On Thursday, the highs could reach the mid-40s.

Dunham said this will be a good chance to melt some of the snow that has accumulated from this winter’s parade of storms and while the extended forecast is not yet clear, he hopes the weather is here to stay.

“It we could have it extended for a few more weeks it will be really good and get rid of most of this snow,” he said.

 

Written by jdunccc

February 11, 2011 at 12:00 am

Posted in MetroDesk Blog, The Boston Globe

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Goodbye, storm; hello, cold — temperatures to drop tonight

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Published on February 8, 2011 in The Boston Globe MetroDesk Blog

-Shared byline with Katherine Landergan and Martin Finucane

Goodbye, storm. Hello, cold.

With the snow and rain heading out to sea, the sun peeked out from the clouds this afternoon, harbinger of a storm-free week ahead. But that doesn’t mean the weather challenges are over: Temperatures are expected to plummet tonight and unusually cold weather is expected for the next few days.

Meanwhile, the roof problems that have beset the region this snow-plagued winter continued today as public safety officials raced to investigate potential colllapses in Newton and Wilmington.

Newton firefighters rushed to a building on Wells Avenue around 9:35 a.m, fire official Alex Gimenez said today.

Officials “noted that some sprinklers appear to be sagging, so they evacuated the building,” he said. “And they are checking up on the roof to see if there is some damage.”

The property is still under investigation, Gimenez said.

In Wilmington, problems were reported with the roof of a building belonging to Spaulding Brick Company Inc. on 5 Lopez Road, a fire dispatcher said.

No injuries have been reported, and Wilmington firefighters are still on scene.

The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency, said this afternoon that 169 structural failures have been reported statewide, but there are still no reports of serious injuries.

No serious injuries have been reported in any of the incidents, the agency said.

The National Weather Service says that today’s snowstorm dumped as much as 4 inches in the western part of the state and 2 or 3 inches in the central part of the state. But coastal areas were spared, with only 0.5 inches measured at Logan International Airport. Scattered snow showers were expected along the North Shore early tonight.

Across much of the region, strong gusty winds of up to 35 miles per hour are expected to combine with rapidly falling temperatures to produce below-zero wind chill values. The winds will end by midnight, but the real temperatures will fall to near zero in Northwestern and Central Massachusetts and the teens along the coast.

The winds will be particularly strong on the Cape and islands where 25-to-35-mile-per-hour winds are expected to gust up to 55 miles per hour. Forecasters warned of the possibility that tree limbs and power lines will be brought down.

Wednesday will be dry but cold, with daytime highs in the 20s for most areas, or about 10 to 15 degrees below normal. Cold and dry conditions are expected to persist through the end of the week.

The state Department of Transportation dispatched 1,257 pieces of equipment this morning to plow and treat state roads. During the morning commute, the MBTA struggled with problems on the commuter rail and some subway and bus lines.

Written by jdunccc

February 8, 2011 at 12:00 am

Posted in MetroDesk Blog, The Boston Globe

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Roof collapses continue as cold weather moves into the region

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Published on February 8, 2011 in The Boston Globe MetroDesk Blog

-shared byline with Katherine Landergan

The roof problems that have beset the region this snowy winter continued today as public safety officials raced to investigate potential collapses in Newton and Wilmington.

Newton firefighters rushed to a building on Wells Avenue around 9:35 a.m, fire official Alex Gimenez said today.

Officials “noted that some sprinklers appear to be sagging, so they evacuated the building,” he said. “And they are checking up on the roof to see if there is some damage.”

The property is still under investigation, Gimenez said.

In Wilmington, problems were reported with the roof of a building belonging to Spaulding Brick Company Inc. on 5 Lopez Road, a fire dispatcher said.

No injuries have been reported, and Wilmington firefighters are still on scene.

Peter Judge, spokesman for the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency, said this morning that 154 structural failures have been reported statewide.

No serious injuries have been reported in any of the incidents, he said.

The National Weather Service says that this morning’s dusting of snow in greater Boston, along with temperatures in the 30s, will give way to much colder weather this afternoon. Temperatures are expected to swiftly drop into the 20s this afternoon and then cascade into the single digits overnight.

Strong wind gusts will also arrive, which could drive wind chills in parts of the central and western Massachusetts to well below zero at times, the weather service is warning.

Daytime temperatures over the next several days is expected to hover in the 20s while nighttime temperatures will drop into the teens and lower in parts of the state.

The weather service has also issued a gale warning for coastal waters until 2 a.m. Wednesday.

High winds – with gusts up to 55 miles an hour – are being forecast for Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard, and Nantucket. Winds will pick up this afternoon and be a concern throughout the night and into early Wednesday morning, the weather service said.

The state Department of Transportation dispatched 1,257 pieces of equipment this morning to plow and treat state roads. During the morning commute, the MBTA struggled with problems on the commuter rail and some subway and bus lines.

Written by jdunccc

February 8, 2011 at 12:00 am

Posted in MetroDesk Blog, The Boston Globe

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For students in at least two towns, roof problems mean a day off

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Published on February 7, 2011 in The Boston Globe MetroDesk Blog

It hasn’t snowed for several days. But students in Methuen and Georgetown are still getting “snow days” because of concerns that the roofs of their school buildings might be unsafe.

Methuen officials said they were closing both today and Tuesday so workers could clear snow from the roofs.

“It was the correct thing to do to relieve some of the pressure on those roofs,” said Methuen Mayor William Manzi, who met with school officials Friday to determine a course of action.

The meeting followed a recommendation Thursday from an architectural firm, a school department statement said. An outside contractor is performing the snow removal, and school will be reopened Wednesday.

“In order to get the work done in the safest possible manner, we cannot have children in the vicinity,” Superintendent Judith Scannell said in the statement.

The Georgetown public schools were closed again today after there was a partial collapse at Perley Elementary School last Thursday, said Fire Chief Albert Beardsley.

“In speaking with the building inspector, they still want a state engineer to come in and evaluate the building before we can start the process of reopening” the school, he said.

Today there is a crane removing snow from the school’s roof and dumping it on the ballfield, he said. The rest of the district’s schools are just about done with the snow removal.

 

Written by jdunccc

February 7, 2011 at 12:00 am

Officials warn of roof collapses; storm could bring some areas 4 more inches

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Published on February 4, 2011 in The Boston Globe MetroDesk Blog

-Shared byline with John Ellement, Martin Finucane and Katherine Landergan

State officials renewed their warnings today about the danger of roof collapses, as weather forecasters said a storm on Saturday could drop more than four new inches of snow on some parts of the region.

“This is not a reason for panic, it’s a reason for care and diligence,” Governor Deval Patrick said at a midday news conference at a collapsed battery company building in Auburn. “This is a very tough time, a very tough set of circumstances. But people can do things to keep themselves, their families, and their co-workers safe.”

He said the warning signs of a collapse included doors sticking or opening on their own because the jambs have become out of line. Leaks, windows jamming, and cracking sounds are other signs, he said.

“Obviously, if anyone starts to hear this kind of cracking, get out of the building as quickly as possible,” he said.

Light snow is expected to start from mid-morning to noon on Saturday. It will switch over to rain in the Boston area and might switch back to a couple of hours of light snow early Sunday morning, said Rebecca Gould, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Taunton.

A snowfall forecast map issued by the weather service showed some areas along the northern central part of the state receiving as much as 4.4 inches of snow. Boston is expected to receive only about 0.2 inches.

Tonight and Saturday night, temperatures are expected to plunge into the 20s, or lower, and stay below freezing at night through most of next week, the weather service said. Another storm could hit late next week, forecasters said.

Peter Judge, a spokesman for the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency said approximately 92 buildings had collapsed since last week, including 80 in the past three days.

He said people should keep an eye on their roofs and remove as much as snow and ice as possible before the storm even in areas where the precipitation is mainly rain. He said the snow would “act like a sponge,” placing an added strain on roofs. “In this regard, I think snow might be a little bit better,” he said.

The governor also said the state has been looking at the rules for a US Small Business Administration program that could offer financial assistance to those making repairs to damage caused by the recent series of punishing storms. Kurt Schwartz, acting director of MEMA, said the state was also looking into a Federal Emergency Management Agency program that would provide help for communities that have exhausted their snow and ice removal budgets.

Meanwhile, the MBTA continued this morning to face delays on the commuter rail, problems on a variety of subway lines, and buses making their way through icy, snow-choked streets.

Logan International Airport operated with only a handful of cancellations, said airport spokesman Phil Orlandella. “I don’t know what normal is,’’ he said. “But I guess we are as close to normal as possible.’’

State Police reported this morning that black ice on major highways in the southeastern corner of the state — Interstate 495 and Routes 3, 24, and 140 — caused numerous spinouts, but no serious crashes or injuries.

Boston officials said today they were continuing to remove snow from city streets and and planned to work through the weekend. The city has removed more than 62,000 tons of snow from the streets since last week, the mayor’s office said in a statement.

In Hopkinton, the roof of a horse barn partially collapsed while two horses were inside, fire officials said. Firefighters were called to the scene, 164 Fruit St., at 7:03 a.m.

When firefighters arrived, the horses were still on the first floor of the two-story barn, said Fire Chief Ken Clark.

“The roof was completely down to the first floor and there was some structural instability,” he said.

Clark said fire officials borrowed the homeowner’s snowblower to cut through the deep snow to the lower floor and free the animals.

“Luckily, one of the rescue guys has horses, so he was in his element,” Clark said. “He was very comfortable. … He was able to calm them, put bridles on them, and get them out.”

Georgetown public schools will be closed until Monday to perform snow removal following a partial collapse Thursday of one of the district’s elementary schools, officials said today.

Currently, contractors are working to remove snow from buildings in hopes of reopening all schools Monday. However the damage at Perley Elementary School still has to be assessed before reopening, Fire Chief Albert Beardsley said.

“We don’t know at this time whether we just need to keep the one wing closed or if the entire school needs to be closed,” he said.

The building inspector is making contact with a structural engineer to determine the safety of the structure and the best course of action, said Beardsley.

In Mansfield, students at Robinson Elementary School were evacuated around 8:30 a.m. due to a roof leak, according to a fire dispatcher.

“The fire department does not see any apparent problems, but is taking this action as a precaution for student safety,” the Mansfield Public Schools website stated.

Students were taken to the Jordan/Jackson School, Qualters Middle School and Mansfield High School.

A Centerville elementary school and a strip mall in Ashland were also evacuated, as were Walmart stores in Chelmsford, Worcester, North Attleboro, and Northampton.

An abandoned two-family house collapsed in Stoneham, a fire official said. No one was inside the home on Common Street, but the old wooden house was beyond repair, he said.

 

Written by jdunccc

February 4, 2011 at 12:00 am

Shoveling sparks dispute; one arrested

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Published on February 3, 2011 in The Boston Globe, Page B3

While this week’s storm was followed last night by a deep freeze, tempers are starting to heat up from the seemingly endless winter.

On Tuesday, two people shoveling on Commonwealth Avenue in the Back Bay began arguing over throwing the snow, leading to the arrest of one of the men, according to Boston police.

William Plaza, 38, of Hyde Park, was arrested and charged with assault by means of a dangerous weapon after a verbal argument broke out while both parties removed the snow. Police say Plaza threatened the other shoveler with knives. No one was physically injured, police said.

The person who was threatened, who was identified only as “the victim” in a police report, was removing snow from 175 Commonwealth Ave., while Plaza was shoveling at 173. Plaza threw snow onto the victim’s side, and after several occasions the victim reacted, beginning the verbal dispute, police said.

When the arguing ended, the victim resumed shoveling and Plaza went inside 173 Commonwealth. Soon after, police said, Plaza returned, brandishing two knives to confront the victim.

Plaza then stated, “It’s four on one, you guys throw the first punch and someone’s going to get stabbed,” police said.

Police said they could not explain what the phrase “four on one” might have meant.

At that time, another person called the police, causing Plaza to return inside 173 Commonwealth.

When officers responded around 6:40 p.m., the victim was behind the building and Plaza was in his car. He was then arrested, according to police.

Written by jdunccc

February 3, 2011 at 12:00 am

Posted in The Boston Globe

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