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As Elsa churns up the coast, NWS asks if you have your go kit ready

Satellite image showing how loaded with water Elsa is

GOES satellite image showing Elsa's moisture content at 7:40 a.m. Source.

Elsa's arrival tomorrow is nothing to olaf about (OK, OK, we'll let it go), NWS says: We could see "major rainfall flooding," enough to force evacuations and rescues, "especially in urban areas."

Rivers could overflow their banks, streams and ditches could turn into "dangerous rivers" and you don't want to get near any underpasses. Roads could also become rivers; parking lots lakes. Areas right on the coast south of Boston could see winds strong enough to knock down trees and rip siding right off. There's even a chance of a tornado - although that may be more of an issue in the western part of the state. Power outages? Of course.

So get ready to flee quickly, especially if you're in a flood-prone area, NWS advises. And:

If you are a visitor, know the name of the county in which you are located and where it is relative to current watches and warnings. If staying at a hotel, ask the management staff about their onsite disaster plan.

The one saving grace: The storm won't be here long - NWS says it should blow in Friday morning, stick around for a few hours, then depart for the Maritimes.

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Let it go kit!

Voting closed 30

Who the hell named a tropical weatherblob "Elsa". That should have been reserved for a Nor'Eastah of the Century!

Voting closed 23

Really, "know the name of the county you are located in"? That's very helpful, thank you.

I lived here for five years and if not for the disaster DA, I would have never learned what county I am in.

Voting closed 19

What is a county in MA?

Voting closed 21

You really have to ask?

NWS forecasts and alerts have always made reference to counties. The Commonwealth's attitude toward county government has nothing to do with it

Voting closed 19

Please add this link to the text, above:


One thing to tell people to prepare, another to tell them HOW to prepare!

Voting closed 22

Do you want to build an..... emergency kit?!

Voting closed 26

2-4 inches of rain is … kind of normal around here. We've had more than 4" of rain on a single day 20 times since 1872, and how many times have we had to evacuate urban areas? No real storm surge so we shouldn't have to worry about that and should be able to pump-and-dump the Charles (pump during high tide, dump at low; we're not at a spring tide so that won't push up too high). Will there be some flooding in low-lying, flood-prone areas? Perhaps. Is this going to be 1927 or 2011? Nah. If anything, it will help push the Quabbin up a few inches.

Voting closed 15

2-4 inches of rain is … kind of normal around here.

Right. What's not normal is 2-4 inches of rain on top of a week of rain that has saturated the soil. It tends to lead to rather different outcomes.

Voting closed 19

March 2010 had 15" of rain in 17 days (that managed to wash out the Green Line)
May 2006 had 11" of rain in a week.
1955 had Diane.
1996 had 8" in Boston in 24 hours (that flooded the T because they lost the friggin dam)

But this year the rivers are relatively low so any flooding will likely be localized and minor, since we're only looking at 2 to 5 inches of rain at most. There aren't any rivers which are likely to go into flood. I would be somewhat surprised if they put the Fenway dam in place, but the Muddy has gone from 8 to 10 feet (I believe they want the dam in place at 15, but the new Army Corps project makes flooding less likely).

So, it's a rainy day and it will wind up being a rainy July! Today should put us over 8" and into the top 5, and if we get 4 inches more on top of that it would be the rainiest July on record.

Voting closed 21