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South Shore Gearing Up For Another Powerful Storm

DUXBURY (CBS) - Waves continued to pound the shore Tuesday in coastal communities, where crews rushed to fix crumbling seawalls and address flooding and erosion ahead of the next storm.

In Duxbury, a breach in the seawall led to more flooding near Bay Avenue during high tide.

Large pieces of the wall collapsed, leaving already damaged oceanfront homes exposed.

Duxbury sea wall
A breach in the seawall led to more flooding in the area near Bay Avenue in Duxbury. (Anna Meiler/WBZ-TV)

A collapsed seawall could be seen outside Susan Nichols' home, where the longtime Duxbury resident spoke about concerns for her house.

"We bought it 14 years ago and never thought this would happen, because we're so much higher than everyone else," Nichols said. "But because of the wall, we have no control and we're devastated."

Crews worked quickly to make as many repairs as they can before the next high tide and Wednesday's storm.

In Marshfield, DPW crews used a drone to feed video of the seawalls to a monitor.

"Eight high tide cycles, we've never experienced that before. The most was four," said Tom Reynolds of the Marshfield DPW.

Locals are concerned that the homes are in danger of washing out to sea.

"They are in grave danger... We don't want to have these homes get washed out to sea," said Duxbury Town Manager Rene Read.

Read said the seawall system is "in crisis and in the process of failing."

The seawall was seriously damaged by the powerful nor'easter that slammed the coast on Friday.

"That storm, I've been told by people who lived through it and worked through it, was worse than the (Blizzard of) '78 storm," Read said.

Duxbury flooding
A breach in the seawall led to more flooding near Bay Avenue in Duxbury during the high tide overnight. (Anna Meiler/WBZ-TV)

Konrad Eder has lived at Green Harbor for 37 years. He paid for his seawall, and he'll pay some more now.

"I spent here probably $20,000 to put that cement on, because it broke up," Eder said, pointing to the seawall outside his home.

A huge section of the seawall is missing on Cable Hill Way in Duxbury.

And there is severe erosion behind the homes on Ocean Road North.

"Where we're standing now is typically filled with about four or five feet of dirt or fill but the coastal erosion we've been experiencing has taken a lot of that material and drawn it out to sea," Read said.

Duxbury flooding 2
A breach in the seawall led to more flooding near Bay Avenue in Duxbury during the high tide overnight. (Anna Meiler/WBZ-TV)

On Tuesday, crews were using heavy machinery to haul boulders to the beach, to shore up the seawall. They worked diligently between high tides with the next storm on their minds.

"It's the last thing on earth any of us want," Read said. "We want to make sure the people are safe, the people are out of harm's way, and minimize the impact we've already experienced."

Read said this is just the short term solution. The long term solution will be the full replacement of the seawall.

"What we're dealing with really is a triple threat. We're seeing more frequent and severe storms, rising sea level and an aging and crumbling infrastructure," said Rep. Josh Cutler, D-Duxbury.

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