Archive for February 2018


Region 3 24/7/365 Duty Officer Number: 978-946-8130

DATE: February 28, 2018

TIME: 10:30 AM

SUBJECT: Long Duration Coastal Storm Thursday into Saturday


The National Weather Service is increasingly confident that southern New England will be significantly impacted by a strong/long duration coastal storm starting Thursday night and continuing through Saturday. Along with heavy rain and strong wind gusts, three high tide cycles from Friday morning to Saturday afternoon are at risk for moderate to major coastal flooding and severe erosion. While there is still some uncertainty two days out, the trend is toward a very serious coastal flood and erosion event.


Friday Late Morning High Tide:at this time, the portion of the coastline most at risk looks to be from Salisbury/Newburyport to Plymouth. A preliminary storm surge of 3 to 3.5 feet is anticipated with waves building to between 20 and 30 feet just offshore. This could be a damaging high tide and may require evacuations of some shoreline neighborhoods. Moderate coastal flooding is possible along portions of the Cape, Nantucket, and Martha’s Vineyard shorelines. Erosion all along east- and northeast-facing shorelines may be severe. The combination of fresh water runoff and high ocean water levels could exacerbate freshwater flooding in some coastal and estuary communities.

Friday Night High Tide:

The shoreline of greatest risk for this tide looks to be Salisbury/Newburyport to Plymouth and to Dennis on the north side of the Cape. The astronomical high tide is about 3/4 of a foot less, but this could be largely offset by still higher surge and wave values. The potential exists for a surge of 3.5 to 4 feet along the coast from Salisbury/Newburyport to Dennis. Waves just offshore may be around 30 feet. Erosion for this tide cycle, too, will probably be severe. The ocean side of the Cape, Nantucket, and Martha’s Vineyard may experience moderate coastal flooding and severe erosion along east-facing shorelines. The combination of fresh water runoff and high ocean water levels could exacerbate freshwater flooding in some coastal and estuary communities.

Saturday Midday High Tide:

All east-, northeast-, and north-facing shorelines are at risk for moderate to major coastal flooding during this high tide. Although onshore winds may have slackened some, a 3 to 4 foot storm surge is possible along much of the coast from Salisbury/Newburyport to Eastham and possibly Chatham and Nantucket as well. Waves of 20 to 30 feet just offshore are possible, and these would be longer period waves, which have a higher destructive component.

Other Storm Related Impacts:

*   Strong wind gusts may cause tree damage and scattered power outages, especially in eastern Massachusetts.

*   Heavy rain may cause street flooding in urban and poor-drainage areas. A few rivers and streams may approach or exceed flood stage. The likelihood of riverine flooding is uncertain and highly dependent on the storm’s track but the greatest risk is in eastern Massachusetts.

Watches, Warnings, Advisories

Coastal Flood Watch

Issued: February 28 at 3:55AM EST

Expiring: March 03 at 2:00PM EST<>

Areas affected: Barnstable; Dukes; Eastern Essex; Eastern Norfolk; Eastern Plymouth; Nantucket; Suffolk



Coastal Storm and Potential Coastal Flooding Thursday to Saturday


The National Weather Service in Taunton has issued the following forecast information:

We are continuing to monitor the potential for a coastal/offshore storm with possible impacts here Thursday night into Saturday.  There remains a lot of uncertainty regarding the storm track, as this storm is not expected to form until sometime Thursday over the Ohio Valley/Great Lakes. We expect the track uncertainty to diminish over the next 24-36 hours, now that most of the ingredients going into this storm will be better sampled over the western USA.

There is considerable consensus the expected storm will be quite powerful, wherever it tracks.

The range of possible outcomes still varies from: a glancing blow, to a direct hit, to something in between. Unfortunately, the uncertainty at this time range, with a storm yet to form, requires all possible outcomes to remain in play.   At this time, the main concerns are: coastal flooding and strong winds, along with significant impacts for mariners.

This storm is expected to move away from our region Saturday.What, When, Where:

Coastal flooding: Tides will be astronomically high during the first few days of March. At least minor coastal flooding with some beach erosion is likely, with substantial risk for moderate coastal flooding, over multiple high tide cycles due to potential for a persistent and strong onshore E/NE wind.  There is some risk for pockets of major coastal flooding along the east coast of MA, too. The midday Friday high tide, the Friday night high tide, and even the Saturday midday high tide, remain the high tides of greatest concern. Although the other high tides could also present problems, depending on how well the tides are able to go out.

Main area of concern for this event is east coastal MA, however erosion could occur even along Block Island, Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket.  Timing of at least minor impacts could begin as early as the Thursday evening high tide, and could occur as late as high tides this weekend.

Wind (on land): Strong to perhaps damaging east to northeast are possible Thursday night into Friday night, with main area of concern being southeast MA, especially the Cape/Islands.

Wind (coastal waters): Gales likely, with Storm force winds possible, Fri/Fri night.

Precipitation: periods of rain, with heavy wet snow possible, especially across the high terrain, Thursday night into Friday. Some light snow may linger late Friday night into Saturday morning.

Potential Impacts:

Significant impact to the marine community.

Wind: Isolated tree damage and scattered power outages remain possible, if the storm tracks closer to our region.

Coastal flooding and erosion with significant wave action.  Minor to moderate coastal flooding likely. Low risk for major coastal flooding. Main area of concern across east coastal MA. Coastal flood impacts will occur over multiple tide cycles.

Freshwater flooding: Minor urban/poor drainage flooding is possible.


Significant uncertainty exists on the exact track of this storm. A track further offshore would curtail impacts. However a storm track closer to southern New England would result in greater impacts.


Free Course Offering “Risk Communication in Practice” Offered by Local Public Health Institute

March 21, 2018 9:00 – 3:00
Room 109, 25 Meade Street, Worcester MA
Worcester Dept. of Health & Human Services/Inspectional Services

Communicating effectively about risk is a critical part of managing crises. This course will develop skills necessary for creating effective messages, strategies for understanding the needs of target audiences and selecting the appropriate messengers.
Designed to serve as a bridge between basic risk communication training and Public Information Officer training, this course will help prepare anyone involved in emergency management to be an effective part of a risk communication team.

Target Audience
 Allied health professionals
 EMT/Paramedics
 Health facility administrators
 Mental health professionals
 Physicians
 Public health professionals
 Registered nurses.

Registration is free, but spaces are limited.
To register, send email with contact details to [email protected]


Free Continuity of Operations Course offered by DELVALLE INSTITUTE FOR EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS

Wednesday, March 7, 2018
9:30 AM – 4:30 PM
Check in begins at 9:00 AM
Middleboro Town Hall
10 Nickerson Avenue
Middleboro, MA 02346

This course will address key components of a continuity of operations (COOP) plan for public health and healthcare organizations, including how to identify essential and supporting
functions, incorporate vital considerations that ensure the safety and well-being of patients and staff, and protect essential equipment and records.
Prerequisite: Continuity of Operations (COOP) Planning: Awareness

6.5 Nursing CEU Contact Hours approved for this course. 

To register for this course, please visit:

For questions about registration, please contact [email protected]



9:45 AM

RE:       Minor earthquake in Southern New Hampshire/Northeastern MA


MEMA is receiving calls from citizens and public safety agencies in northeastern Massachusetts reporting ground shaking at about 9:30 AM.  The New Hampshire Emergency Management Agency is also receiving calls.

The United States Geological Survey (USGS) has just issued a preliminary earthquake report indicating that a magnitude 2.6 earthquake occurred at 9:28 AM today about 3 KM south of Exeter, New Hampshire and 11 KM NNW of Amesbury, MA.

MEMA is not aware of any reports of significant issues/damage, and we would not expect a 2.6 magnitude earthquake to cause significant issues or structural damage to buildings.


“CDC Webinar on Crisis Emergency Risk Communications for Strategic National Stockpile Response Scheduled for February 21”

CDC’s Division of Strategic National Stockpile (DSNS) will host a webinar for public health partners from 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. EST on Wednesday, February 21, to share key considerations related to crisis and emergency risk communications. DSNS and CDC’s Division of Emergency Operations communication experts will describe the public’s information and communication needs before, during, and after an incident and identify potential communication opportunities and challenges specific to Strategic National Stockpile planning and response operations.

The webinar is open to all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial public health and emergency response partners. To register for this webinar via CDC TRAIN, please visit Interested participants must have a CDC TRAIN account, which is available via To search and register for this webinar, enter the entire webinar title, “Crisis and Emergency Risk Communications in a Strategic National Stockpile Response,” or the course ID number: 1075234. Questions regarding the webinar or about TRAIN registration should be directed to [email protected].


“CDC Medical Counter Measures Resources” for Municipalities and Others

CDC Offers MCM Operational Readiness Review Resources

CDC continues to provide training, guidance, and resources to assist state and local jurisdictions with their operational readiness review (ORR) site visits. Last month’s Second Wednesday Webinar held on January 17 provided an overview of how to use the ORR online data collection system from the perspective of a Cities Readiness Initiative jurisdiction. The presentation and recording of the webinar will be available in the Online Technical Resource and Assistance Center (On-TRAC).

The ORR guidance, MCM action plan template and guidance, and presentations from the July 2017 workshop now are available on the CDC website and On-TRAC.

In addition, the online training environment for the ORR data collection system is live. CDC encourages jurisdictions to use the training environment to practice and get familiar with the ORR online system.


“Situational Awareness Statement: Forecast Update, Expanded Area and Prolonged Period of Freezing Rain”

Please see the Report from MEMA with the on going storm. Stay safe and watch out for black ice!




February 7, 2018

10:30 AM

Update from the National Weather Service: Prolonged Period and Expanded Area of Freezing Rain



The National Weather Service in Taunton has just issued a forecast update that calls for freezing rain to impact more of the state, and for the freezing rain to last for a longer period of time. A briefing package is attached.

From the NWS:

*         While snow is presently enveloping the area, we expect the BIGGER IMPACT with this storm system will be the forecast FREEZING RAIN

o   Roughly 2 to 5 pm, to last through 10p – 12a if not having transitioned to rain

o   In other words, some places could see a roughly 6 hour freezing rain event

*         Ice accretion amounts of 0.10 – 0.25″ are forecast especially in low-lying valley locations across north and west areas of MA and CT.

o   Potential for downed limbs, especially on weaker trees, as well as power outages

*         Expecting significant impacts for the afternoon into evening commute especially along area roadways north and west of the I-95 corridor.

o   I-90, north and west areas of I-495 and I-295 beltways, I-91 (even down into Hartford), Route 2 corridor to name a few

Should anything change with the forecast, we will have an updated briefing package.


There are still some unknowns such as the specific timing and location of transition of snow to freezing rain across the interior, rain to snow closer to the coast, which could impact both snowfall amounts (on the order of 1-2″) and ice accretion (on the order of a few to several hundredths).


As to WINDS, they’ll be gusty out of the SW into this evening. However with this latest forecast gusts are expected to be at or below 40 mph, the strongest wind gusts along the south coast and across the Cape and Islands. Winds tapering after midnight, shifting out of the NW remaining breezy.