[12:00 PM MEMA Situational Report ]Nor’easter Update # 6

Filed in Alerts by on October 27, 2021

 

Incident or Event Overview

Situation

A Nor’easter weather system is currently having a significant impact in Massachusetts and has resulted in electric distribution customer outages, road closures and property damage due to downed trees and utility poles, and minor flooding in vulnerable coastal areas and beach erosion.

The National Weather Service (NWS) reports that strong northeast winds will continue to gust across eastern and southeastern MA this afternoon into this evening. These strong winds will cause coastal flooding to remain a significant concern. The risk for rain has largely ended for the western – most part of the state but periods of rain will likely continue elsewhere though the afternoon and into the evening.

Dry weather and less wind are expected on Thursday. Rain will become widespread again on Friday evening into Saturday as the next storm system moves towards New England

Impacts/ Potential Impacts

  • Strong Winds – Tree and powerline damage with power outages. Greater tree damage potential given fully leafed trees and wet ground.
  • Coastal Flooding – Minor to moderate coastal flooding on vulnerable shoreline roads and structures. Inundation of 1 to 3 ft. above ground level. Beach erosion.

Power Outages

As of 11:47 AM, there are a total of 495,228 customer outages.

County

Total Customers

Customers
W/O Power

% W/O Power

Change Since Last Report (0915)

Barnstable

184514

146307

79.29%

146307

Berkshire

75641

1

0.00%

-777

Bristol

201817

57692

28.59%

57269

Dukes

20130

12816

63.67%

12787

Essex

271506

24577

9.05%

24514

Franklin

39122

162

0.41%

-1789

Hampden

144184

0

0.00%

-1259

Hampshire

64380

45

0.07%

-2262

Middlesex

629992

6469

1.03%

3440

Nantucket

13774

4

0.03%

4

Norfolk

271586

64176

23.63%

62513

Plymouth

204993

174407

85.08%

172900

Suffolk

334686

3401

1.02%

-738

Worcester

327378

5171

1.58%

-2740

Power Outages by Utility Provider

Utility

Total Customers

Customers
W/O Power

% W/O Power

Change Since Last Report (0915)

Eversource – West

219146

178

0.08%

-2507

Eversource – East

1198415

274763

22.93%

270594

National Grid

1335657

220287

16.49%

202082

Unitil

30215

0

0.00%

0

State Emergency Operations Center

The State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) is operating at Level 2 (Partial Activation) as of 8:00 AM this morning. MEMA will continue to monitor the situation and will disseminate additional Situational Awareness Statements, as necessary. The next SAS will be issued at 2:00 PM.  

MEMA hosted a statewide coordination call, with Local Municipal officials and Emergency Support Function Team members at 10:00 AM.

There are currently no requests for shelter or warming center operations at this time.

Regional Emergency Operations Center

MEMA East REOC is operational as of 8:00 AM this morning.

Emergency Support Functions Activated

ESF 1 Transportation

ESF 7 Volunteers and Donations

ESF 13 Public Safety and Security

ESF 2 Communications

ESF 8 Public Health and Medical Services

ESF 14 Recovery

ESF 3 Public Works and Engineering

ESF 9 Search and Rescue

ESF  15 Public Information and External Affairs

ESF 4 Fire Fighting

ESF 10 Hazardous Materials and Environmental Protection

ESF 16 Military Support

ESF 5 Business and Industry

ESF 11 Animal, Agriculture, and Natural Resources

ESF  17 Cyber Security

ESF 6 Mass Care and Human Services

ESF 12 Energy

MA Lifelines

A lifeline enables the continuous operation of critical government and business functions and is essential to human health and safety or economic security.

Lifeline icons are color-coded to indicate current lifeline status:

Color Code Legend

  • Green: Indicates lifeline services are stabilized, re-established, or not impacted. Note: Green components may still be severely impacted
  • Grey: Indicates no situational update. (Unknown)
  • Red: Indicates lifeline services disrupted and no solution identified or in progress (Unstable, no solution in process)
  • Yellow: Indicates lifeline services disrupted but solution in progress with estimated time to stabilization identified (Unstable, solution in progress)

Lifeline Status as Reported by Emergency Support Function and Other Key Stakeholders

Emergency Services Branch

 

Firefighting

Public Safety/ Security

Search and Rescue

Green

Green

Green

ESF/ Task Force

Critical Information

Lifeline Analysis and Key Points:

  • Lifeline is stabilized with no unmet needs.

ESF 13: Public Safety and Security

Massachusetts State Police

The Massachusetts State Police (MSP) continues to watch the ongoing weather system and developing conditions statewide. 

 

The MSP Command Staff and Troop Commanders have held over patrols and in some cases reallocated members from specialty units to augment staffing in an effort to coordinate closures at various roadway hazards in coordination with local police departments, fire departments, and public works departments.  

 

The MSP will continue to report impacts to traffic to our partners at MassDOT, DCR, and local DPWs; summons roadway assistance for disabled motor vehicles; and coordinate responses to crashes with our emergency service partners. 

Critical Infrastructure Branch

 

Transportation

Communication

Public Works/Engineering

Energy

Cyber Security

Yellow

Green

Green

Yellow

Green

Lifeline Analysis and Key Points:

  • Lifeline services disrupted with solutions in progress.

ESF 1: Transportation

MA Department of Transportation

 

 

MassDOT Highway:

MassDOT Highway is responding to multiple roadway obstructions in districts D4, D5 and D6 due to downed power lines and trees. As a result of these road obstructions, they report multiple road closures in these districts. Additionally, MassDOT is coordinating with the respective power companies as needed.

MassDOT Aero:

  • Hyannis Airport is open but Air Traffic Control cannot communicate with air craft at this time; engineers are currently en route.

MBTA:

  • Shuttle buses replacing Mattapan Trolley Service due to a tree down near Valley Road. Crews are continuing to work to clear the tree. Cedar Grove and Butler passengers are being accommodated by shuttle busses at this time.
  • Minor power issues impacting D- Line facilities, nothing currently impacting service on the D- Line.
  • Multiple bus lines are experiencing minor delays due to weather and traffic.

Commuter Rail

Due to the impact the of storms the commuter rail is operating on modified or delayed schedules for the following commuter lines:

  • Fitchburg Line Train
  • Worcester Line Train
  • Franklin Line Train
  • Greenbush Line Train
  • Greenbush Train
  • Greenbush Line
  • Haverhill Line Train
  • Kingston Train
  • Middleborough/Lakeville Line Train

All inbound Rockport trains will originate at Manchester today due to ongoing downed tree issues. Shuttles busses will accommodate passengers between Rockport and Manchester.

Ferry

  • Charlestown Ferry and Hingham/Hull ferry service is suspended until further notice today, Wed, Oct 27, due to the weather.
  • Charlestown Ferry and Hingham/Hull ferry service is suspended until further notice today, Wed, Oct 27, due to the weather..

Steamship Authority:

  • SSA reports changes to schedules runs today due to storm impacts.

ESF 2: Communications

  • Radio technicians repaired generators at Mendon, Sandwich, and Wrentham. Those sites are now running on generator power.   
  • Wellfleet radio tower remains offline (no generator on site). 
  • 14 towers continue to run on generator power (Falmouth, Norwell, Brewster/Orleans, W Barnstable, Essex, Acushnet, Bourne, Rehoboth, Fall River, Hanson, Sandwich, Mendon, Arlington, and Wrentham).  

ESF 12: Energy

Department of Public Utilities:

  • Eversource have escalated to a Type 2 ERP event;
  • Field reports indicate challenging conditions for restoration crews; strong winds and rain have resulted in downed trees and falling limbs on power lines;
  • External crews continue to arrive, from as far away as Canada, to assist with restoration;
  • Field crews moving to harder hit areas, as appropriate;
  • Transmission related issues:
    • 342 Line from Canal to Pilgrim & NGRID Auburn Street (official cause still being determined)
    • Canal (980) 121 transformer tripped, taking the 121 line out of service and Canal Station Service (official cause still being determined)
  • Hazard winds are expected to continue throughout the day. The South Shore, Cape, and Islands are the hardest hit. Peak gusts of 55-65 mph are expected to continue through early afternoon. Winds are expected to slowly diminish throughout the day, but gusts are not expected to be below 50mph until later in the afternoon and gusts below 35mph are not expected until 9 or 10pm this evening. 

EDC plans and preparations:

 

Eversource:

  • Escalated to a Type 2 ERP event at 6am Wednesday;
    • Restoration activities are generally accomplished within a 96- 120 hour period once it is safe to begin restoration activities; and
    • Typically 10 to 25% (140,000 to 350,000) customer interruptions at peak.
  • Opened all 5 MA EOCs (7am Tuesday)
    • Boston;
    • Southboro;
    • Yarmouth;
    • Springfield; and
    • New Bedford.
  • Conducting Incident Management Team calls;
  • Secured additional external crews (including crews from Canada);
  • Pre-staged line and tree crews on Martha’s Vineyard (Monday);
  • Providing dedicated community liaison and community relations to the MACC; and

Notified all life support customers and communities to prepare for the event.

 

Outage Headlines

  • Eversource gas
    • Report of a downed wire earlier today; Eversource responded to the scene where the wire was active and arcing.  The area was monitored and gas readings were noted in the roadway.  Electric power was shut off by Taunton Power & Light at 9:20am.  Eversource Gas crews are working on isolation of the gas main.  There is no gas in any of the homes in the area and service techs are on site.

 

National Grid:

  • Declared a Type 3 ERP event as of noon Tuesday;
    • Restoration activities are generally accomplished within a 72 hour period; and
    • Typically up to 10% (up to 130,000) customer interruptions.
  • Opened storm rooms (7am Tuesday):
    • Brockton;
    • Malden
    • Worcester; and
    • North Andover.
  • Conducting storm team calls;
  • Secured additional, external contract crews;
  • Pre-staged transmission resources strategically to quickly respond to any issues impacting the Hull 1 / 2 line and the Beverly N-192 cable;
  • Pre-staged crews on Nantucket; and
  • Life support and critical facility outbound calls performed Monday.
  • Outages can be found by visiting: https://outagemap.ma.nationalgridus.com/ and town level ETRs can be found here:  Town Level ETRs.

 

Unitil:

  • Monitoring weather forecast;
  • Additional staffing on-site to monitor the event and respond to outages as they occur; and
  • Not expecting a significant impact;
  • Prepared for a Type 4 ERP event;
    • Restoration activities are generally accomplished within a 24-hour period; and
    • Typically, 2 to 5% (580 to 1,450) customer interruptions.

Health and Human Services Branch

 

Mass Care

Volunteers/Donations

Health/Medical

Animals/Agriculture

Green

Green

Green

Green

 

 

Lifeline Analysis and Key Points:

  • Lifeline is stabilized with no unmet needs.

Operations Support Branch

 

Business / Industry

Hazardous Materials/ Environmental Protection

Military

Green

Yellow

Green

Lifeline Analysis and Key Points:

  • Lifeline services disrupted with solutions in progress.

ESF 10: Hazardous Materials and Environmental Protection

Department of Conservation Recreation

 

Significant Issues:

Across DCR’s North, Boston and South regions agency saw-crews have cleared numerous down trees and are currently addressing multiple fallen trees along, parkways, roadways and sidewalks.   

Road Closures/Lane Restrictions due to Trees Down:

  • Memorial Drive eastbound at Cambridge Parkway – cars detoured onto Wadsworth.
  • Storrow Drive westbound lane at Fiedler Footbridge.
  • Wires down on Day Blvd at G and I streets, South Boston. DCR deployed an arrow board. Utility company has been notified.
  • Summit Rd, Blue Hills, Reservation in Milton- the road is blocked by down trees. DCR is responding and managing the issue.
  • Shore Rd, South Boston – large branch hanging under a power line – Eversource has been notified and the road is currently closed.

Coastal Flooding

  • Short Beach/Winthrop Parkway- only one lane open.

 

Power Outage

  • The power is out at Walden Visitor’s Center. Concord Power has been notified.
  • Myles Standish State Forest – DCR labor yard, agency buildings and visitor center without power.
  • Borderland State Park is closed until further notice due to power outage.

Wompatuck State Park

  • Wompatuck will remain closed for the day due to extensive tree damage. 

MEMA Region Summaries 

 

MEMA East (Regions 1 & 2)

Critical Issues

The MEMA East REOC staff continues to make outreach to the local communities. Below are the latest local reports:

  • All communities in Southeastern Massachusetts are experiencing power outages.
  • Majority of customers in Plymouth County, Barnstable County, eastern Norfolk County, and eastern Essex County are experiencing power outages.
  • Receiving many community reports of DPW employees unable or delayed in reporting to work due to inaccessible roadways.
  • Cellular connectivity is becoming an issue in severely impacted areas.
  • Communities continue to conduct assessments of coastal damages from the early morning high tide.

Municipal Information

Municipal EOC Activations (as reported to the SEOC): 8

Preparedness and Safety Information

Stay Informed

For additional information and updated forecasts, see www.weather.gov/boston (National Weather Service Norton) and www.weather.gov/albany (National Weather Service Albany)

Utilize MEMA’s real-time power outage viewer to stay informed about current power outages in your community and region, and across the state, including information from utility companies about restoration times: http://mema.mapsonline.net/public.html

Online Resources 

Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency www.mass.gov/mema
MEMA’s Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/MassachusettsEMA
MEMA Twitter @MassEMA
Federal Emergency Management Agency www.fema.gov
National Weather Service Boston/ Norton, MA  www.weather.gov/boston
National Weather Service/Albany, NY www.weather.gov/albany
National Weather Service Weather Prediction Center www.wpc.ncep.noaa.gov

National Weather Service Storm Prediction Center  www.spc.noaa.gov
Northeast River Forecast Center www.weather.gov/nerfc/

National Hurricane Center www.nhc.noaa.gov

Mass211 www.mass211.org

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