What you need to know about Jonas, the winter storm heading toward SouthCoast A3

Published January 29, 2016

Water, snow and slush flow through the streets of Nantucket on January 28, 2015. A year later, similar scenes appear possible, if not likely, to repeat along the Massachusetts coast.

Based on developing forecasts for the coming weekend, the Martin Luther King Day Weekend snows that covered southern New England may have been but a harbinger of the winter weather in our near future. Unless you spent last winter outside New England, you're probably prepared for the foot or more of snow we may receive Saturday and Sunday, but what you might not be prepared for are the rising waters the storm, recently named Jonas, is expected to produce.

Recent winter storms causing flooding in New England have been particularly destructive along Massachusetts' South Shore. Anyone who's watched televised weather reports is familiar with scenes of overwhelmed seawalls and flooded streets in towns such as Scituate and Marshfield.

The coming storm, however, appears to have Massachusetts' SouthCoast -- for those of you outside the region, that's the area extending from Rhode Island to Cape Cod, not to be confused with the South Shore -- in its sights. Strong, gusting winds also are in the forecast, making widespread power outages likely.

Here's what Weather Channel forecasters had to say in its East Coast Snowstorm: Five Things You Need To Know blog post at weather.com as of noon on Tuesday:

"There would also be a period of strong, onshore winds blowing toward southeast Massachusetts, including Cape Cod, Nantucket Island and Martha's Vineyard Saturday into Sunday. Those winds would likely pile water toward the coast, leading to storm surge ... Making matters worse, there's a full moon on Saturday. This is already expected to boost the astronomical high tides several inches higher than other times of the month. Storm surge may raise water levels several feet higher than those in some areas. Current indications suggest that water levels may remain high for two or three high-tide cycles this weekend, prolonging the threat of saltwater flooding at the coast and increasing the impacts of beach erosion from accompanying high surf on exposed stretches of beach."

If you don't have flood insurance, it's too late to put coverage into effect for this weekend, but you should purchase it for future high-water events. Regardless of whether you have flood insurance, there are precautions you should take before the snow and storm surge hit. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) online guide Storm Surge and Coastal Inundation includes information on constructing a family disaster plan before a storm and steps to take after a flood.

And, for those of you who didn't learn the lessons of last year's brutal winter or would just like some handy pointers, here once again is a collection of resources to prepare your home or business for what Mother Nature has in store:

The Hanover Insurance Group guide Preparing for Severe Weather

Sylvia Group blog post: Winter's Coming

Winter Home Maintenance Tips from Travelers

The Hanover's business winter weather plan.

For information on how Sylvia Group can help you protect your home, business and future, contact us.

Contact Sylvia Group

About Sylvia Group: Sylvia Group provides businesses and individuals with total asset protection by designing insurance, benefits and financial planning programs that help them secure their future. We’re a family-owned and operated agency known for our commitment to our clients and our community, as well for our industry expertise. Along with property and casualty insurance and risk-management services, the agency offers life insurance, long-term care insurance and investment products.

Founded in 1950, headquartered in Dartmouth, MA — between New Bedford and Fall River on Massachusetts’ beautiful SouthCoast — and serving throughout Massachusetts, Rhode Island and beyond, Sylvia Group is a third-generation, locally owned agency certified as a Woman Owned Business Enterprise with the State Office of Minority and Women Business Assistance (SOMWBA). In 2014, we became the first six-time winner of the Five Star designation awarded by the Massachusetts Association of Insurance Agents (MAIA) for all-around agency excellence.

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