Nahant braces for the next storm even as it bails out from the last nor’easter

A hand-painted sign reading "Nahant Strong" hangs on the announcement board as you drive into Nahant. (Spenser R. Hasak)

NAHANT — As an early-morning high tide loomed, crews continued to pump the remaining seawater from last weekend’s storm back into the ocean to no avail Wednesday afternoon.

“We are concerned about the 3:30 a.m. tide,” said Mike Halley, director of Nahant’s Emergency Management Agency. “There’s a coastal advisory in effect. The ocean is still kind of wild.”

As of Wednesday afternoon, part of Nahant Road remained closed from Castle and Nahant roads to Spring and Nahant roads. Generators and pumps were stationed in the middle of Nahant Road, pumping out the lowlands, Fox Hill Road, and Ward Road.

There was extensive damage along Willow Road, including to the Tudor Beach seawall and a private seawall, said Halley. Thirteen pumps moving about 3,600 gallons of water per minute were working around the clock to try to remove stubborn flood water that had yet to recede.

“We have some concerns about freezing,” said Halley. “This water not receding — this is something new. We’re doing everything we can to get that water down and we’re obviously watching this next system.”

Bill Chalmers, Joe Desmond and Jon McCarriston of N. Granese & Sons, a private contracting company, endured the still-flooded streets to prepare for the next nor’easter. The crew had their pumps and trucks set up near Lowlands Park on Ward Road and near the sea wall in Little Nahant.

“I don’t know how long I’ve even been out here but I’m just trying to get the pump to run right,” said McCarriston. “I know the drains here are backed up so it could be a while before all of this gets pumped out.”

In addition to clearing out the water, the workers were gearing up for the anticipated snowfall that was set to descend Wednesday night.

“We assume we’ll be plowing all night, but for right now we just need to get the water out of here,” said McCarriston.

Cleanup kits with squeegees, broomsticks, a sponge, scrub brush, mop head, bottle of degreaser, trash bags, set of rubber gloves, face mask, and a bottle of bleach are available at the Police Department for free. The kits were donated by the American Red Cross.

As the town recovers from the damage, they will look into applying for grants that would help them purchase additional disaster relief equipment.

Enzo Barile, chairman of the Board of Selectmen, previously estimated cleanup costs to be about $300,000 to $400,000, and repairs to be in the millions.

“It’s going to be a long process,” said Halley. “The cleanup will be a long process. The damage assessments will be a long process.”

Bella diGrazia contributed to this report. She can be reached at [email protected].

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