High tide at Devereux Beach in Marblehead

DAVID LE/Staff photo

High tide waves crash over Devereux Beach in Marblehead, spilling under the pavilion and through the parking lot on Tuesday evening.

Town officials in Marblehead, Ipswich and Swampscott had a wary eye on the ocean during Tuesday’s blizzard, but the North Shore was largely spared from flooding and coastal damage.

The Marblehead Neck causeway had to be closed around 4:45 p.m. Tuesday during the high tide, police said. The Fire Department said water was coming across the beach parking lot.

It was the second closure for the causeway in a 12-hour period.

“We had to close the causeway for 31/2 hours at high tide, from 3:30 to 8 (a.m.),” said Town Administrator John McGinn.

Front Street also flooded with the early morning high tide Tuesday, but both it and the causeway reopened for the afternoon. 

With a statewide travel ban in effect, and Marblehead’s roads all but deserted, except for plows and pedestrians, the causeway’s closure did not have much of an impact, police said.

Overnight Monday into Tuesday, the wind came from the harbor side of the causeway, which was helpful in terms of limiting flooding, McGinn said.

In Ipswich, Great Neck gets cut off whenever the right — actually wrong — circumstances fall in place.

Those circumstances happened between 4 and 6:30 a.m. Tuesday and were expected again at around 5 p.m., officials said. Great Neck, reachable on land only by Jeffreys Neck Road, was cut off when high tide flooded that thoroughfare. As usual, the flooding took place near Island Park Road.

The National Guard deployed a 5-ton troop transport to bring paramedics and their equipment to Great Neck in case they were needed, according to police Lt. Jonathan Hubbard, Ipswich’s director of emergency management.

“We’re ready,” Hubbard said.

Ipswich schools were closed Tuesday and will remain closed Wednesday.

Winds from the north helped mitigate coastal impacts from the storm overnight, Salem Harbormaster Capt. Bill McHugh said.

“So far, we look like we are in good shape,” McHugh said around 4 p.m. Tuesday as the Salem News went to press. “We are waiting for the high tide to occur.”

Swamspcott was also spared major flooding with the morning high tide on Tuesday, though there was some flooding by the Fish House on Puritan Road, Town Administrator Thomas Younger said. Officials were keeping an eye on high tide set for yesterday afternoon.

DPW crews were out “diligently” responding to calls about snow clearing or trash pickup. Younger said there were no power outages he was aware of Tuesday around noon, and he only received one report of a wire down, and it was not a power line because the home still had power. 

“The snow has been piling up,” Younger said. “That has been difficult,” he added, given Swampscott is a community were the homes are so close together and there is little place to put the snow.

The town was prepared to open the Senior Center at  Swampscott High as an emergency shelter, but didn’t have to because the power stayed on.

Younger, who spoke yesterday afternoon, said the town wasn’t out of the woods yet. “It’s still going on,” he said of the storm.

Danvers Deputy Harbormaster David Arathuzik said there was nothing to report from the harbor from the storm, but that officials were monitoring the high tide late Tuesday afternoon.

Staff writer Ethan Forman can be reached at 978-338-2673, by email at eforman@salemnews.com or on Twitter at @DanverSalemNews.


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