Storm Preparedness

Manchaug Pond Foundation participates in town workshop

Posted February 21, 2019

“If you don’t like the weather in New England now, just wait a few minutes.” Mark Twain

The weather is always a topic of conversation, especially in New England! Looking just at 2018, eight states including Massachusetts realized historic rainfall setting records for the wettest 11 months since 1895* and, if that wasn’t enough, Manchaug Pond also saw a tornado touch down on the Waters Road conservation property tearing across the lake and up Lackey Road bringing down trees, dragging anchored boats, and cracking walls. The unpredictably of the weather – with trends of warming in the early decades of the 1900’s flipping to lows in the 1940’s through the 70’s significant enough to cause scientists to warn of a pending ice age to today’s talk of renewed warming patterns – calls for a new initiative, municipal preparedness.

Earlier this month the Town of Sutton did just that, looking beyond the forecasts and climate buzzwords to a preparedness workshop – and Manchaug Pond Foundation was there! Two members of our Board of Directors joined other community leaders for the two-day session with Sutton Department Heads and various commission members prioritizing action items for Sutton’s Hazard Mitigation Plan. Specifically, the participants identified vulnerabilities and strengths relative to infrastructural, societal, and environmental needs with respect to natural hazards of flooding/thunderstorms, severe snowstorms/ice, drought/wildfires, and wind/tornadoes/hurricanes.

With many strengths identified, some 50 or so vulnerabilities were discussed including the lack of cell coverage and need to communicate our Code Red system to transient summer populations, the need for street tree maintenance with the gypsy moth outbreak, and our many water resources with a focus on upkeep of bridges, dams, and culverts. Past and current efforts at Manchaug Pond with the construction of roadside stormwater structures, the formal inspections of the dam for the Mass Office of Dam Safety and by Mass Department of Transportation, and the town’s wetland’s bylaw were some of the identified strengths in our corner of town,

Our participation in this workshop serves well the mission of the Manchaug Pond Foundation advocating and promoting the protection and improvement of water quality, the preservation of the waterlevel and dam at Torrey Road, and in service to our members, the year-round and seasonal residents, the users, and the community at-large. Our special thanks to the Town of Sutton, workshop facilitators, and the Baker-Polito Administration for this opportunity.