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Nor'easter batters Northeast, New Hampshire Seacoast

By JASON SCHREIBER
and KIMBERLEY HAAS
Union Leader Correspondents

March 02. 2018 1:39PM
Vehicles make their way through flooded streets in Hampton as a nor'easter pounds the U.S. coastline on Friday. (Jason Schreiber/Union Leader Correspondent)



A strong nor’easter battered the East Coast from Maine to Virginia Friday with ferocious winds and flooding that left some New Hampshire coastal roads under several feet of water.

High tide hit about 11:30 a.m. Friday along the coastline and brought with it a relentless splash that left roads littered with rocks and other debris and closed Ocean Boulevard northbound around the wind-whipped sea wall at North Beach.

Tidal flooding from Hampton Harbor, made higher by Thursday’s full moon, inundated numerous roads, forcing officials to close several, including Ashworth Avenue.

The tide reached 12.81 feet in Hampton, which was just below major flood stage, according to Tom Hawley, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Gray, Maine.

Hampton fire Lt. Michael Brillard and firefighter/Adavanced EMT Alex Holmes used a high-clearance military personnel carrier loaned by the Newton Police Department to rescue a mother and her daughter from flooding on Route 1 near the Hampton Falls town line. They weren’t injured, but Brillard said they were shaken up.

Emergency management officials warned residents to stay away from coastal areas early today as a third high tide in two days just before noon could lead to more flooding.

Strong winds also created problems with gusts reaching nearly 50 mph, with sustained winds around 35 mph. The peak wind at the Isles of Shoals was 63 mph.

The highest wind recorded statewide Friday was 81 mph on Mount Washington.
Peak winds in Manchester reached 39 mph just before 1 p.m. Friday with other high winds in Rindge (44), New Hampton (42) and Sunapee (41).

Parts of Southern New Hampshire received much more than an inch of rain before nightfall Friday.

The storm caused far more flooding danger and disruption off the coast of Massachusetts where Gov. Charlie Baker called out the National Guard and several towns on the South Shore declared states of emergencies and ordered evacuations.

More than 500 flights going out of Logan Airport in Boston Friday were canceled
Meteorologists predicted that the seas in Boston Harbor could rise to above 15 feet by the high tide just before midnight Friday, breaking the record set on Jan. 4.

“Take this storm seriously! This is a LIFE & DEATH situation for those living on the coast,” the National Weather Service’s Boston office had tweeted in advance of the storm.

The storm began winding down by Friday afternoon, but not before knocking out power to more than 3,000 homes and businesses in New Hampshire, including 660 in Moultonborough, 548 in Rye and 246 in Hampton.

By 8 p.m., Eversource had reduced its outages that reached a peak of nearly 2,000 down to 126 and there were 155 Unitil customers in the dark, most of them living in Atkinson.

The storm dropped the most wet snow on southwestern New Hampshire with Unity reporting 5.5 inches, 4 inches in Alstead and 3 inches in Claremont.

The National Weather Service forecast on the Seacoast for today called for sunny conditions, highs in the mid-40s with winds still gusting 20-35 mph.

In Manchester, the high was to be around 45 degrees with lighter winds of 15-25 mph, forecasters said.

Power outages spiked back up late Friday night with more than 2,000 in the dark as of 10 p.m. Hardest hit communities at that hour included Seabrook (341), Greenland (495), Milford (307), Hollis (124) and Brookline (122).

jschreiber@newstote.com

khaas@newstote.com

Union Leader reporter Kevin Landrigan contributed to this report.

Reuters news service contributed to this report.


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