January 10, 2018
Last week’s major coastal flooding in our city and other Massachusetts communities served as a reminder of the immense respect we must have for nature, and a warning of the growing consequences of increasingly extreme weather.
There is plenty of anecdotal and scientific evidence to support the claim that our climate is going to extremes more frequently. In recent years we have seen several major weather events in Revere that, in days gone by would have qualified as once-in-a-lifetime happenings. The winter of 2015 pummeled us. A tornado ripped through the middle of our city. The floodwaters last week – wich submerged Pearl Avenue, Winthrop Parkway, Riverside and for the first time I can ever remember crested over North Shore Road – seemed to rival what we dealt with in the Blizzard of ’78. Also last week, the Chelsea Creek rose high enough to cause damage to the first floor of the apartment complex at the old Slade’s Mill site on Revere Beach Parkway – one of Revere’s most historic locations – and caused cars in the parking lot to float.
According to a 2016 study by scientists at the University of Massachusetts and other local universities, which was cited in a recent Boston Globe article, sea levels could rise by 10 feet by the end of the century, and Boston and nearby communities will experience a higher increase in sea level than other parts of the world. Rob DeConto, a UMass climate scientist quoted in the Globe story, called Boston a ‘bull’s-eye for more sea level damage.”
If Boston is the bull’s eye, so too, are Revere, Winthrop, Lynn, and surrounding coastal communities These warnings must be taken seriously, and acted upon. This does not necessarily mean that we must abandon development near our shorelines. As we know, real estate near the ocean understandably holds great appeal to builders. What’s more, development of modern housing, entertainment, dining and retail spaces near our waterfront is key to making our city a more vital and desirable place to live and raise families.