Winter Storm Brings Major Flooding to Massachusetts Coastlines

Jan 4, 2018

High winds and storm surges are causing severe - and, in some cases, record-setting - flooding up and down the Massachusetts coastline this afternoon. Residents from the outer Cape, Martha's Vineyard, and Nantucket shared dramatic videos of flooded streets (and basements) on Facebook.  At around 3pm, Orleans Police Department posted this footage of Rock Harbor Road near the Council on Aging:

As bad as this afternoon's flooding has been, Greg Berman, Coastal Processes Specialist for Barnstable County, says there may be a silver lining. Most nor'easters tend to linger over multiple tidal cycles, piling up flood waters. This storm is behaving more like a tropical storm, moving through the region rapidly. 

"Hopefully, it's only going to have it's effects during one high tide," Berman told WCAI.

The National Weather Service is calling for sustained north winds of 30-40 miles per hour, with gusts of 65-75 miles per hour, this evening and overnight. The high wind warning is scheduled to end at 1am Friday, right around the time of the region's next high tide.

A coastal flood advisory remains in effect through 4am Friday for the Cape Cod Bay shoreline, and through 6am for Plymouth, Nantucket, and Martha's Vineyard. Overnight storm surges are expected to be significantly smaller than those seen this afternoon. However, they caution that today's flood waters may be slow to recede and there is a risk of flood waters freezing as temperatures drop.