« Continuity of Operations Planning

Boston mayor says city must prepare for another Sandy-like event

Boston's mayor called upon the city to prepare for another event the size of Hurricane Sandy. Had the superstorm hit at high tide, Boston could have suffered greater damages.
Boston's mayor called upon the city to prepare for another event the size of Hurricane Sandy. Had the superstorm hit at high tide, Boston could have suffered greater damages.

Many areas along the East Coast were hit hard during Hurricane Sandy. Residents and business owners are still working their way back to a full recovery. With this in mind, Boston mayor Thomas Menino said that he wants his city to take extra precautions to ensure that the same scenario does not happen to the coastal area.

As reported by Reuters, Menino told reporters earlier this week that the Bay State was extremely lucky, because when the superstorm hit the East Coast, Boston’s tides were low.

“Had Sandy hit Boston during high tide our city would have experienced a 100-year flood event,” which could have left more than 6 percent of its land area, including parts of all coastal neighborhoods, under water, Menino told reporters. “Today I’m directing my climate team to take a set of actions to be sure that Boston is as ready as possible for a storm like Sandy.”

On Tuesday, the Boston Harbor Association released a report estimating that with a 2 1/2-foot (0.76 meter) rise in sea levels, a 100-year storm could flood more than 30 percent of the city, including its airport and major convention centers.

With that in mind, Menino asked city agencies and even landlords with low-lying properties to assess what parts of city infrastructure – the subway system included – would be most at risk from flooding. A thorough analysis could help business resumption in the future.

Brian Swett, the city’s chief of environment and energy, told Reuters that this is just the beginning of a long process of looking through policy options to prepare Boston.

It’s important for cities of all sizes, and in various locations, to have a comprehensive continuity of operations plan. That way, all residents understand the best ways to keep themselves and others safe.