All Hands on Deck ~ Tropical Storm Isaias ~ MEMA August 4, 2020 at 2:34 pm

As of 11:00 AM today, Tropical Storm Isaias was located 20 miles south-southwest of Fredericktown, MD, with maximum sustained winds of 70 mph and a minimum central pressure of 993 mb.

Isaias is moving toward the north-northeast near 35 MPH. On the forecast track, the center of Isaias will move near or along the coast of the mid-Atlantic states today, and across the northeastern United States into southern Canada tonight.

Gradual weakening is anticipated while Isaias moves north-northeastward near the mid-Atlantic coast today. A faster rate of weakening is expected to begin tonight.

The potential threats associated with Isaias are as follows:
  • Potential for 1-3″ heavy rain with locally higher amounts of up to 4” possible. especially over the Berkshires. Greatest risk is urban flooding but if rainfall exceeds 4″, small stream flooding could also occur. Lesser rainfall is expected in Eastern MA.
  • Strong winds of 25-35 MPH with 40-50 MPH gusts could lead to downed trees and power outages.
  • Dangerous rip currents and minor coastal flooding, especially for South-facing beaches.
  • Potential for a few tornadoes this afternoon and evening in western Massachusetts, especially near the Connecticut River Valley.
 Tropical Storm Force Wind Probabilities (as of 11:00 AM 08/04)
  • Nantucket: 36%
  • Hyannis: 46%
  • Boston: 74%
  • Worcester: 91%
  • Springfield: 98%
Watches, Warnings, Advisories (as of 12:52 PM 8/04)
  • Tropical Storm Warning for all counties.
  • Tornado Watch in effect for all counties.
  • Flash Flood Watch for Franklin, Hampden, Hampshire, and Berkshire counties.
  • Coastal Flood Advisory for Southern Bristol and Southern Plymouth counties.

A complete list of watches, warnings and advisories in effect for Massachusetts is available at: https://alerts.weather.gov/cap/ma.php?x=1.

Readiness Actions
  • MEMA:
    • MEMA continues to coordinate with key partners and vendors to ensure a forward-leaning posture.
    • Briefing Governor Baker and Administration officials on storm forecast and impacts and discussing preparedness actions.
    • Coordinating daily conference calls with NWS, ESF partners, and local and state officials to discuss the forecast for Isaias, potential impacts, and state/local preparedness actions.
  • Electric Utilities:
    • Currently securing external crews from the other New England states as well as from Canada. All electric utilities will continue implementing their COVID-19 protocols throughout the entirety of the event.
  • Eversource:
    • Conducting Incident Management Team calls

o   External crews arrived from Canada on Monday and are ready to respond;

o   Contacted all Massachusetts customers with special medical needs Monday morning to deliver storm preparation messages via outbound calls;

o   Safety information will be posted on Eversource’s social media accounts and a news release has been issued;

  • National Grid:
    • Conducting planning process and securing additional resources

o   Crews pre-staged on Nantucket on Monday;

o   Life Support and Critical Customer notifications sent out today at 9:00 AM;

  • Unitil:
    • Conducting storm planning calls
    • Reviewing preparation checklists
    • Completing preparation activities within the Emergency Response Plan such as ensuring logistical readiness, internal and external resource availability, and communications
A PSA was issued today, focused on peak impact of the storm and potential for damage;
  • American Red Cross:
    • ARC supplies and staff are on standby to support mass care and shelter operations as requested.
  • Department of Conservation and Recreation:
    • DCR will be closing pools and ending lifeguard services at waterfronts at 3:00 PM today. Pools may be closed prior to 3:00 PM if necessary due to weather. New visitors to waterfronts where DCR can close gates will not be allowed in after 3:00 PM.
    • Campers on site in Central and Western MA will be informed of the incoming hazardous weather and encouraged to delay their arrival or leave the campground for the evening, however campgrounds will not be closed and campers will not be forced to leave. An email notice has been sent to campers statewide along with follow up calls and verbal communication from on-site staff.
    • Park gates in Central and Western MA will be closed at 3:00 PM. Staff will begin closing gates to summit roads and day use areas at 1:00 PM in effort to clear high ground areas by 3:00 PM. The Quabbin Boat Launch areas closed at noon.
    • Staff have already addressed potentially hazardous trees at campgrounds and cleared catch basins along parkways. Staff will be prepared to respond to flooding, fallen trees, and other hazards related to Isaias. Preparations have also taken place at DCR operated dams and pump stations, including the New Charles River Basin Dam and the Amelia Earhart Dam.
    • DCR Forestry will provide a saw crew equipped with a bucket truck, log truck and skidsteer at Myles Standish State Forest, and a contracted saw crew equipped with a bucket truck and log truck to be staged at Stony Brook.  In addition, the west region saw crew will be staged in Amherst for downed tree issues.
  • Department of Environmental Protection:
    • MassDEP Western Regional Office (WERO) in Springfield has initiated its Emergency Preparedness protocol in anticipation of greater impacts in the western portion of the state.
    • MassDEP Emergency Response staff continue to respond to non-storm spill/releases across the state. MassDEP SERO-ER staff have responded to a Tier 2 Hazmat incident in New Bedford.
  • MassDOT:
    • MassDOT Highway districts are continuing pre-storm preparedness activities and monitoring weather alerts.
    • No reported impacts to mass transit or air travel.
    • The Steamship Authority is closely monitoring Isaias as it moves northward. Based on current forecasts calling for wind gusts between 40 and 50 MPH, service disruptions are possible this evening and possibly Wednesday morning.
  • Department of Fire Services:
    • Fire Mobilization Chiefs as well as District Control Points have been notified of ESF-4 activation with contact info.
  • MA State Police:
    • The MSP is closely monitoring the approaching storm system. The Department is prepared to increase response personnel in the event the storm negatively impacts the Commonwealth. Troopers are continuously patrolling the state’s roadways, assisting local communities and the motoring public as necessary.
  • Barnstable County Regional Emergency Planning Committee:
    • BCREPC continues to coordinate daily conference calls with local and regional partners.
    • BCREPC reports regional shelters and the Multi-Agency Coordination Center (MACC) are on standby.
State Emergency Operations Center

The State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) transitioned to Level 2 (Partial Activation) at 8 am this morning. The following agencies are supporting SEOC operations:

  • MA State Police (MSP)
  • Department of Fire Service (DFS)
  • Department of Transportation (MassDOT)
  • Department of Public Utilities (DPU)
  • Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR)
  • American Red Cross (ARC)
  • Department of Environmental Protection (DEP)

In addition, MEMA’s Regional EOCs in Agawam and New Bedford are activated and in regular contact with potentially impacted communities along the coast and in western Massachusetts. No significant impacts or requests for assistance have been reported as of this time.

MEMA will continue to monitor the progress of Tropical Storm Isaias and will disseminate an updated Situational Awareness Statement around 4:00 PM today, with additional spot reports as needed.

Preparedness and Safety Information
Stay Informed:

Utilize MEMA’s real-time power outage viewer to stay informed about current power outages in your community and region, and across the state, including information from utility companies about restoration times: http://mema.mapsonline.net/public.html

Utilize MEMA’s live weather radar and forecasting tools: http://www.mass.gov/map-resources

Online Resources:

For additional information and resources, visit:


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