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Hurricane Irene Threatens Seawall On South Shore

By Diana Perez, WBZ-TV
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Seawall in Marshfield.

Seawall in Marshfield.

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MARSHFIELD (CBS) – Hurricane Irene could pound our coast in a few days and while a 400 foot area of the seawall has been rebuilt in Marshfield, there are areas that are in bad shape which is why officials say everyone needs a plan.

“Making sure people are going to start boarding up their properties and be prepared for things to come,” says Democratic State Representative James Cantwell.

Anything to avoid a repeat of what happened in Scituate last December when a storm ripped over the seawall, two homes burned down and close to 200 others were damaged.

WBZ-TV’s Diana Perez reports

Dot D’amado says hers was one of them, “we lost the whole deck the garage we lost our living room, the wall. All the furniture the carpeting the floor everything had to be replaced.”

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The problem according to D’amado and Cantwell is the weak seawall. For most part it’s too old and run down to protect coastal homes from heavy rains, high tides and strong winds, “all of our seawall up and down the coast were intended to last 50 years they’ve been there more than 70 years,” says Representative Cantwell.

Related: Hurricane Irene – What To Expect

But Irene isn’t the only threat, high tides are being predicted which could contribute to a breech in the seawall. And while officials in Marshfield and Scituate are waiting for it to get closer to the weekend, before implementing any widespread plans they say that doesn’t mean they aren’t ready.

“The damage you can’t do anything about but you can evacuate people… We suggest for people who are vulnerable start making a plan now,” says Scituate Fire Deputy Chief John Murphy.

Representative Cantwell says really the entire seawall along the coastline has to be replaced. It’s an incredible undertaking of about a billion dollars. Rebuilding the wall in Scituate alone would cost $25 million, in Marshfield $ 20 million.

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