Climate change risk plan presented to Swansea selectmen

By Bill Hall, Associate Editor | SouthCoastToday

SWANSEA — A representative from Fuss and O’Neill, the firm brought in by the town to coordinate the Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness program, came before the Board of Selectmen on July 24.

Mary Monahan was joined by Conservation Agent Colleen Brown in making the presentation to the board.

Monahan noted that a year ago Governor Charlie Baker presented the MVP funding program to make a climate change risk analysis.

A workshop was held with various department heads in town as well as regional parties.

The top four hazards were more frequent storms, Nor’easters, heat and drought and sea level rise.

Brown noted that “we are currently in a drought situation” and added that one farmer lost a third of their crop.

“We have not had decent water in a month and a half,” she noted.

The sea level rise has also been measurable at various locations, notably the boat ramp and Old Providence Road at the Myles Bridge.

It was noted that the flow of water through culverts was also viewed. It was pointed out that a culvert on Rt. 6 near the Venus de Milo probably needed to be cleared out. Other locations had undersized culverts for the storms that have been coming.

The plan would be how to tackle the issues, Monahan noted.

Selectman Chairman Derek Heim noted that he had concerns about the issues of water in the road near the desalination intake station that could pose a problem if it were struck by a hydroplaning vehicle.

Monahan noted that the MVP would give them access to funding that would be required to address the issues and allow them to get together to see if priorities have changed.

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