By Sue Ellen Woodcock
Slowly, but surely, the hardest hit areas of Winthrop are starting to recover from the Jan. 4 “bomb cyclone” blizzard.
The Pico Avenue, Morton Street, as well as the Bayview and Grandview areas of Point Shirley, were hard hit with the tidal surge that flooded about 70 buildings.
One property owner said he’s moving forward with repairs, and has hired a public adjuster.
“We are back in the house after four nights in a hotel,” said Pico Avenue resident Sean Driscoll, who also has a wife and three kids.
Not only did his property flood, but his pipes ended up freezing too.
“It was like shock and awe watching the tide come up so fast,” Driscoll said.
Driscoll is grateful to Streeter and Galaxy Electric for their help. Driscoll could also not say enough about the town employees, firefighters and police.
“Regular town employees reached out to help,” he said.
Winthrop Shore Drive and Winthrop Beach did fairly well, thanks to the renourishment project done by the Department of Conservation and Recreation.
Delehanty said the nourishment project had a significant impact on this storm and prevented thousands of people from not having their electricity shut off.
One area that didn’t do so well in the windy, bitter cold was the Shirley Street Fire Station.
Apparently there was a problem with the chimney and the high winds, which forced carbon monoxide into the building. Flanagan said that they went without heat for the weekend.
DPW Director Steve Calla said his crew of about 28 assisted residents with frozen pipes, both in homes and public buildings. Crews also had to deal with several water main breaks.
“We do what we have to with a small department,” Calla said. “The equipment is in good shape and we did do a lot of snow removal.”
Council President Ron Vecchia thanked the police, fire and DPW workers, the medical reserve corps. for the work done during the storm.
“The town workers did an excellent, excellent job,” Vecchia said.
The town is working with the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) to assist those who have been hardest hit by the snow storm last week, and is asking residents and business owners to submit information about damages. (See separate announcement from Town Manager.)
Flanagan said several people stepped up to feed town employees working the storm. Dawn Manning on Elliot Street in the Point Shirley area served hot meals for nine hours. Blackstrap BBQ in the Center served first responders as did La Siesta.
“It was a community outpouring,” Flanagan said. “I think the community appreciated my first responders because they gained about 10 pounds.”