Public asked to weigh Wareham's storm, weather vulnerabilities

By Matthew Bernat | May 29, 2018
Photo by: Matthew Bernat Director of Planning & Community Development Ken Buckland presents results from a workshop identifying Wareham's weaknesses in light of climate change.

Moving the Wareham Fire Department, drafting an evacuation plan and upgrading wastewater pipes are some issues town officials are focused on in light of climate change.

Those ideas came out of a workshop for the Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness Program, a state grant initiative Wareham has joined. They were discussed at a public listening session during the Selectmen’s Tuesday night meeting.

The evening started with a warning, however.

“It’s going to feel like, in 50 years, that we’re down in South Carolina,” said Director of Planning & Community Development Ken Buckland. “There will be more flash flooding, more frequent and intense storms and a great possibility for drought and sea level rise.”

The workshop highlighted some of the problems possibly associated with climate change, said Buckland. He noted that while town officials came up with several areas to focus on, the public is being asked to weigh in as well.

It’s all part of the state’s Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness program. Launched two years ago, it’s targeted at cities and towns to help them get ready for weather-related problems.

By participating in the workshop, Wareham is now eligible for state grants. Buckland said his department is focused on applying for funds to establish an emergency command center, likely in an existing building away from the flood zone, if one is received.

He invited the public to complete a survey seeking input on the town’s vulnerabilities. Fill out the survey by clicking here. Comments will be accepted until June 12.

Comments (17)
Posted by: Spherebreaker | May 30, 2018 09:10

All this talk of Climate change as if its something new. The Climate has been changing since the dawn of time. Cracks me up when people say they know how and when the climate will change. If Al Gore were right Town hall would have its own beach.

Posted by: Uptohere | May 30, 2018 11:57

When I see the words climate change it should have $$$ next to it. It' also called weather something we've had since the start of time.

Posted by: Wareham By The Sea | May 30, 2018 12:28

If all this is valid, why are we going to redevelop Tremont Nail?  It sits in a coastal flood zone and it sits below a failing dam...doubly blessed! Seems like a waste to spend any money on something that will get flooded and/or washed away.


What does the first sentence mean?  "Moving the Wareham Fire Department". Does that mean that they want a new fire station???   Like how Onset wants a new fire station.  Can't be true.  I must have misunderstood. Then again, I did see  people digging clams in the lawn in front of the Fire Station the other day.  They better hurry, ocean is rising fast!

Posted by: Andrea Smith | May 30, 2018 15:04

Seems to me we were told at the April Fire District Meeting that the Wareham Fire Department abandoned it's most recent effort to purchase property for the purpose of relocation, because of the cost consumers are going to have to assume for the new water treatment facility. And now what, someone thinks there will be sufficient grant funding to cover all the costs associated with relocating the fire station? Or maybe they just want to get their dibs on tax payer money before tax payers go the polls to decide the fate of a $90 million new school proposal? Or maybe they think tax payers have magic pockets full of cash?

Posted by: bob | May 31, 2018 06:08

ANDREA,I to thought that was said,that the station was a dead item....And why spend more money on a factory that sits in a flood zone and a dam that suppose to be ready to fail...

Posted by: bruce gannon | May 31, 2018 14:16

whether you accept the science around climate change or not you can certainly accept that storms seem to be more severe in recent years … addressing how to deal with the flooding potential and making sure that EMS personnel are able to respond to those in need isn't a joke .. making light of it as some chose to do is a fools mission

Posted by: Wareham By The Sea | May 31, 2018 15:05

Bruce, at this point making light may be all that we can do.  If we can't laugh we'd cry!  Certainly without a doubt we need a safe emergency command center located out of a flood zone.  A second floor room in the Town Hall will suffice.   But isn't it funny how moving the fire station (a new fire station) gets thrown in there.  Yep, might as well build an entire new fire station in which they can have the command center...right?  That's just funny.  Funny things deserve to be made light of.


If the funny statement about 50 years from now and South Carolina had mention of pestilence, locust, and a great Dragon with seven heads, ten horns, and seven crowns on his heads it may have been even more impactful.  Nobody has a crystal ball.  Statements like that are 100% subjective shock factor nonsense.  And no, Massachusetts absolutely will not be like South Carolina in 50 years.


Storms seem worse because people have short memories and impact fades quick.  Wareham hasn't had a significant flood since Hurricane Bob in 1991.  Before that it was Carol in 1954 and before that was the big hurricane of 1938.  According to history, floods were worse and more frequent back then.  Wouldn't that mean that it is a fact that floods are getting less frequent and less severe?  Or does everybody want to be like Fred Sanford and believe the "Big One" is coming?

Posted by: cranky pants | May 31, 2018 15:30

People also have to take into consideration that today we have things like cloud seeding and HAARP that possibly play a role in the weather intensity. Google "geoengineering" or simply look up weather manipulation to see the possibilities. Perhaps read the latest findings by NASA and it's exposure of the irregularities in the ionosphere and disruption of the Atlantic basin cyclones.. It could be a real thing.


Posted by: bruce gannon | May 31, 2018 16:43

I knew I'd regret this but a couple of things .. we don't have a short memory we know full well that we have had big storms before .. the storms are more severe and more frequent we don't count them in terms of decades anymore they seem to be every year and several per year .. we had 3 blizzards in a matter of a month .. also having a command center high and dry is great .. having the equipment sitting under water makes the command center useless and can't even bother responding to cloud seeding …. that hasn't been a thing since the 50's

Posted by: bob | May 31, 2018 16:52

B.G.,If you watch THE WEATHER CHANNEL ,it seems every type of depression they have a name for it now...From snowstorms,tornados,snowflakes etc.,guess that what makes news...

Posted by: cranky pants | May 31, 2018 17:09

I don't mean to rain on your parade Bruce, but cloud seeding is very alive and real today.

I guess you're not into science much.

Google these things...

Silver iodide

Ice nucleus generator

Colorado, Wyoming, Kansas, North Dakota seeding.

It's a thing, and it's being researched daily.

Posted by: Zephyr | May 31, 2018 18:20

I'm with you, Bruce.  Look at the flooding Boston waterfront has had.  They are starting to do something about it now. Wareham is very vulnerable to a major storm.  We have been very lucky so far.

Posted by: bruce gannon | May 31, 2018 19:02

ah Crank …  Research 50 years ago and analysis by the former Snowy Mountains Authority led to the cessation of the cloud seeding program in the 1950s with non-definitive results.

Wikipedia … look it up

Posted by: cranky pants | May 31, 2018 19:57

I'm not splitting hairs here bud, and I do agree with your other facts in your original posts. However, there were non-definitive results in the 1950's because we didn't have the technology to get a true scope on it back then.

The problem with the internet is we can find any site with information to argue both sides of the story. I'm not being a wise-ass, but really sir you need to do more investigations.

Funny info bit for you though, the seeding experiment actually draws ties to western Massachusetts when a chemist dumped six pounds of dry ice from an airplane and created snow.

Posted by: Wareham By The Sea | May 31, 2018 20:58

Zeph- the Boston area that flooded is dangerously low and never should have been built on.  It is no surprise that it happened.  It's all filled marshland.  The Convention Center sits on 30 foot pilings that had to be driven through fill placed over old marsh 100 years ago.  It's not fair to compare that flooding with anything except poor urban planning.


Luckily Wareham is protected from Noreasters due to the way Buzzard's Bay faces.  Winter storms and anything like Blizzard of 78 and the No Name Storm do a number on East facing places like Scituate but cause no coastal flooding here.  Wareham's biggest threat are hurricanes pushing water up Buzzard's Bay from the SW.  Luckily hurricanes are less frequent and require more precision to get us just right.

Posted by: bruce gannon | Jun 01, 2018 13:55

the chemical used to seed clouds is highly toxic to humans the reason the program was stopped was because they couldn't accurately measure what the exposure was when the rain fell from the seeded clouds, but they knew to a certainty that the silver iodide was dangerous and not worth the risk since they were also not able to accurately as access the success so the risk reward element killed the project.

Posted by: cranky pants | Jun 02, 2018 01:06

Bruce, the current info is out there for you to learn the updated facts. There are other chemicals used for cloud seeding aside from silver iodide. Potassium iodide, calcium carbide, ammonium nitrate, sodium chloride, dry ice (solid carbon dioxide), and liquid propane, (which expands into a gas), have all been used. Propane can produce ice crystals at higher temperatures than silver iodide. Recent studies have introduced the uses of salts as well.

Clouds were seeded during the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing using rockets, to coax rain showers out of clouds before they reached the Olympic city so that there would be no rain during the opening and closing ceremonies, although others dispute their claims of success.

That's just info for seeding, we haven't gotten into weather modification influences and their test findings.

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