Many Contingencies in the Works if Snowstorm Turns Ugly; Predictions Are Still Shaky and Flooding Threat Won’t Be Known Until 6 A.m. Saturday; City Urges Coastal Residents to Pay Close Attention to Tide Warnings Early Saturday

February 8, 2013
By

The City is preparing to call a snow emergency at noon today (Friday) and Mayor Dan Rizzo has announced he will hold a public information meeting in the City Council Chambers at 1 p.m. (Friday).

It will be broadcast live on local cable.

A number of contingencies have already been planned, and residents are advised – in addition to stockpiling water, milk, batteries and (of course) Wonder Bread – to mind the parking ban that will accompany the Snow Emergency.

Tide gates at Winthrop Parkway will also be shut at noon Friday, closing off the road for the duration.

The emergency parking ban also includes all DCR roads, such as Revere Beach Boulevard.

Mayor Rizzo and Council President Ira Novoselsky announced that they have secured a special parking accommodation for residents at the new Wonderland Garage. Residents can park in the garage after noon Friday until 3 p.m. Sunday for a special daily rate of only $5. However, the Sunday at 3 p.m. deadline is pretty solid. Those staying after that deadline will be hit with an automatic $12 fee.

Al D’Amico’s Seaside Parking Lot also has free parking on Saturday and Sunday, but parkers must be out by 5 a.m. on Monday morning.

Fire Chief Gene Doherty told the Journal that everything is still up in the air as it pertains to the National Weather Service (NWS) and its predictions.

“That’s the killer,” he said. “We won’t know definitely until 6 or 7 p.m. tonight (Friday). All the predictions could go out the door at that point, or they could all hold up. They’ll tell us with some certainty only at that time.”

He added that an 11:15 a.m. Friday conference call with the NWS is scheduled and Revere will be listening in.

One particularly vexing problem, Doherty said, is the threat of storm surge in Revere’s coastal areas – particularly during the 10 a.m. high tide on Saturday morning.

“That Saturday morning tide is what we’re really looking at right now,” he said. “By 6 a.m. on Saturday we’ll know whether we’re going to get hit. There’s a 25-foot storm surge out there and we’re worried about it. However, they’ve been saying this morning that it might only hit the South Shore and not impact us so much. We won’t know for sure though until it’s nearly upon us.”

Knowing that, he said he is calling for those in the Pines and Beachmont – especially – to keep particularly informed of what the tide is doing tomorrow morning. That’s because if it does hit Revere, it could lead to some major action – including evacuations and electrical shutdowns.

“We’re obviously hoping against hope that it doesn’t come to that,” he said. “However, if we get flooding impacts in Beachmont or the Pines, we’re not going to allow individual shut offs. We’ll shut off (electricity) to an entire area. We’re telling people that if there is a real threat for major flooding, they should get out of the area because we will shut off all the power to an area so we don’t get widespread electrical house fires, which we’re worried about in such a situation.

“I hate to do that to people because it shuts down heating systems and kills their pumps,” he continued. “However, for overall safety, that’s something we would do if things come to that point. People are going to have to be aware of that.”

Additionally, Mayor Rizzo and Doherty have prepared Revere High School as an emergency shelter if there are widespread power outages and people lose heat or are flooded out of their homes. The Pines Station is also being considered as a shelter as well.

Doherty said the City has 150 emergency shelter beds ready and available and the Red Cross would likely commit more if things get bad enough.

Doherty said the City would open its Emergency Operations Center at the Central Fire Station some time Friday evening. From there, necessary City officials will monitor the storm and the efforts to fight it.

  • Italod

    This report is good, and I think that the difference between 1978 and 2013 should be that The Journal takes advantage like this of cutting-edge online technology to regularly update this article and its e-paper throughout this storm, with latest storm-related news and developments during its duration.

  • drensber

    Two comments:
    1. Aside from crusty old people in Revere, no one in the 21st century still pollutes their bodies with Wonder Bread.
    2. The Boston Globe is reporting that police were urging coastal residents of Revere to evacuate their homes. There’s no report of that here or on the Twitter feed, and I was never notified of such a request via the reverse 911 program. Is this bad information on the Globe’s part, or did something in the notification system fail?

  • RevereReporter (STAFF)

    From my understanding, I think the Globe jumped to conclusions. Everyone I talked to in the Pines said it was scary, but no need for evacuations. I don’t know where they got their information, but I never heard of any talk of that. Had there been a call for evacuation – even in one neighborhood, i.e., Beachmont – there would have been bullhorns in the streets, electrical grid shutdowns. The worst of the flooding was south of us. Even Short Beach wasn’t as bad as Hurricane Sandy at high tide.

  • Disgusted Revere Taypayer

    I am stunned at Rizzo’s comments in the Revere J. about how good Revere had it during the storm comparing us to other cities. Why did not Seth Daniel take a trip around Revere and see for himself ‘the great job” before he became Rizzo’s mouthpiece? Taxpaying Riverside residents had to bring in their own plows to get out of their driveways. The city plow literally blocked streets off from Rte 1A traffic creating a deathly situation. Riverside roads are still are mess and Sunday’s storm is coming again. When residents tried to call a private plow, they all were on ‘standby’ idling waiting for the city to call on them; they could not do private plowing while they wait. The news that Rizzo says plows were working 40 hours straight is just in his dreams. The worst Mayor in the history of Revere. Calling DPW was a total waste of time because all they did was to shun the needy tax payers. Where is Ambrosino when you need him?

  • RevereReporter (STAFF)

    Dear Disgusted, From what I can tell it’s about a 75-25 split between satisfied and not satisfied. Most were satisfied. We took rides around Revere, Chelsea, Boston and Everett. Revere was pretty much in the best shape of them all, especially compared to Boston – which did a horrendous job all around. I have to confess, I did not travel up to Riverside. Perhaps you all were not paid close enough attention to. It seems that the central areas of the City and Beachmont might have gotten some really close attention, as well as the Pines (as usual!).

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