Boston's Waterfront Braces for Flooding Ahead of Storm

As those who work on Long Wharf in Boston still work to come back from the last storm that flooded the area, it is hard to hear that they have to prepare yet again. With a slow-moving storm in the forecast for Friday, they are gearing up for whatever the weather brings their way.

Businesses like Boston Harbor Cruises, located on Long Wharf, had several inches of standing water in their corporate offices. Crews had to cut out part of the wall and rip up the floor due to the damage.

"It's like it's spilling out of the bathtub, only it's spilling into the offices," Stephen Jones, managing director of operations at Boston Harbor Cruises, said. "One of our employees actually had to ride out high tide on top of the conference table."

It is that kind of flooding that the group Boston Harbor Now says the city will start seeing more often due to sea level rise and climate change. They say each storm is a reminder that there has to be more plans to protect the waterfront long-term.

"Flood barriers is one solution. Other folks are elevating utilities and making sure those aren't vulnerable to flooding, but we need to step away from thinking just parcel by parcel and really think about citywide resiliency," Jill Valdes Horwood, director of policy at Boston Harbor Now, said.

Storm surge and high tide makes for a high potential for coastal flooding and that has Boston Mayor Marty Walsh concerned. He was set to speak with emergency management officials Wednesday to come up with a plan for the end of the week.

"When flooding comes up it makes it more difficult," Walsh said. "We really have to think about what's going to happen here. I'm not sure if we're going to go the sandbag route, but we’re going to be looking at how we protect the city."

The MBTA is planning to have employees pre-positioned at Aquarium Station with sandbags around high tide. The station was flooded in January and the escalators and elevators are still being repaired as a result. There will also be portable pumps pre-deployed in flood prone areas to expedite the response to any potential issues.

Contact Us