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Coastal residents take precautions as major nor'easter moves in

By JASON SCHREIBER
Union Leader Correspondent

March 01. 2018 11:53PM
Hampton Beach resident Andy Kyriazis bought packages containing sandbags that he plans to place around his Island Path residence. (Jason Schreiber/Union Leader Correspondent)



HAMPTON — Andy Kyriazis isn’t taking any chances as another nor’easter bears down on the region.

After experiencing flooding in his garage from the marshes that surround his Island Path home during a January nor’easter, the Hampton Beach resident decided to buy sandbags to try to contain and divert the water this time around.

He said he’s owned the property since 1960 and has seen many bad storms, but flooding was never a problem until that one in January that flooded homes, vehicles and resulted in multiple water rescues.

With forecasters predicting moderate to major coastal flooding in Hampton from this latest nor’easter, Kyriazis said he’s taking precautions and will evacuate if it gets too bad.

“I’ll stay awake and watch it. I’ll just get in my Jeep and leave if I have to. I have tenants, too, and I’m concerned about them,” he said.

On Thursday, Eversource customers were receiving robocalls alerting them to high winds and potential outages.

The powerful nor’easter is expected to move in by this morning and begin pulling away on Saturday.

The greatest impacts were expected in southern parts of the state and especially along the Seacoast, said Chris Legro, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Gray, Maine.

Strong winds and astronomical high tides are predicted to create high tides of at least 12.5 feet in Hampton Harbor, Legro said.

Flooding is expected over high tide cycles at 11:21 a.m. and 11:52 p.m. on Friday and 12:11 p.m. on Saturday.

Hampton Beach resident Margie Ziemba holds up the special parking placard she received from the town of Hampton to use during flooding events. (Jason Schreiber/Union Leader Correspondent)

Forecasters are concerned that the high water in Hampton may be slow to recede as easterly winds cause the tide to remain bottled up in the bay through low tide.

According to Legro, wave action will also lead to significant splashover and beach erosion. 

“Folks along the coast know what that’s all about,” he said.

Margie Ziemba, 74, has lived on Island Path for 30 years and plans to make sure her car is moved to higher ground before the storm hits. Several people lost their vehicles during flooding in the January storm.

“It’s gotten worse in the last two or three years. The ocean is rising, definitely,” she said.

Because of the growing flood concerns, the town of Hampton recently gave beach residents like the Ziembas a special parking placard that allows them to park in a nearby lot for free during flooding events.

Farther north, a pile of sandbags sat outside KB’s Bagels & Java on King’s Highway while other business owners also took precautions.

Legro said coastal flooding isn’t the only concern with this storm.

While rain is expected for most of New Hampshire today, it could turn to heavy wet snow quickly in southwestern parts of the state where a foot or more is possible, Legro said, adding that the snow could lead to some power outages.

The rain may switch to snow across the rest of southern New Hampshire later in the day with a few inches possible in some locations, he said.

jschreiber@newstote.com


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