Hurricane Sandy Has Braintree Officials Looking Ahead Cautiously to Next Week

The latest track of Hurricane Sandy has the storm pushing farther west.

Hurricane Sandy, tracking westward toward southern New Jersey as of this morning, could still bring high winds and hard rain to the Braintree area, or worse if it changes course.

The potential damage accompanying Sandy has moved Braintree officials to prepare for the storm's arrival early next week, though to what extent is still being worked on.

"Right now everything is up in the air," Braintree Emergency Management Agency Director Robert James said on Friday.

James, the mayor and other department heads will meet Monday morning to check-in on the track of the storm and make plans for emergency shelters and other measures depending on its expected severity in Braintree.

The Braintree Electric Light Department held a preliminary meeting on Thursday about Sandy, GM William Bottiggi said in an email.

"We have a standard storm preparation list we go through to make sure we don’t miss anything," Bottiggi said. "We will be ready in the event the storm causes damage in Braintree."

Another meeting on Monday will help determine if any additional measures need to be taken by BELD.

"If we don’t get hit and other utilities do we will also be prepared to send some of our people on mutual aide as we did last year during the hurricane and the October storm," Bottiggi added.

The latest track of Hurricane Sandy has the storm pushing farther west according to this morning’s meteorologists' reports. The National Hurricane Center has the center of the storm going either into southern New Jersey or Delaware.

According to WHDH Meteorologist Chris Lambert, the current likely scenario would bring wind and rain Monday afternoon through Tuesday with wind gusts of 40-60 mph, mostly onshore, strongest at the coast with up to 5 inches of rain expected throughout the storm’s duration. Power outages are likely, along with beach erosion and coastal flooding during high tides.

Lambert says it’s still a “very complicated and anomalous pattern” and thus the timing is tricky.

Down at the water, Braintree Harbormaster Richard McDermott said on Friday afternoon that people are taking boats out as regularly scheduled, because of the time of year. But he also said that the storm is probably going to accelerate the process.

"Those that were moving a little slower will move a little faster," McDermott said. "We'll be on guard."

Editor Liz Taurasi contributed reporting.

LCT October 26, 2012 at 11:30 PM
Can someone in Braintree tell me if there's a list in town somewhere (Police, Board of Health, Emergency Mgmt Dept, etc) that tells officials which citizens might require assistance during an emergency? As an example, my 82 yr old mom, lives alone in house, is pretty much housebound, uses a walker, has some health issues including diabetes, hard of hearing & has assistance daily from South Shore Elder Services, Meals-on-Wheels, Visiting Nurse, etc. She has a LifeLine machine that requires electricity to work; not sure if phone has to be working also. I have been concerned for some time that if, for example, an evacuation was ordered in her neighborhood, who would know she required assistance to leave the house & would require special services in a shelter? Another issue could be a prolonged power outage, particularly in cold weather. Do we have emergency shelters equipped for the disabled, diabetics, etc? If my mom had to leave the house, who would help gather her meds, etc, if I was unable to get to her house to help or if phones were out how/who could I contact for assistance (we don't own cell phones)? Another issue could be if Braintree had an emergency with our water (i.e. contamination). How would officials know who might not know & who can't get to a store? Braintree has a substantial elderly population & I'm sure my mom isn't the only person in a similar situation. Can anyone comment on resources? Thanks from a concerned daughter.


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