Thursday's "nor'easter" snowstorm brought another type of Perfect Storm to Gloucester, Massachusetts. A combination of high winds, high tides, and low barometric pressure caused a storm surge that resulted in flooding all up and down the coastline. Residents of Gloucester who obeyed a street parking ban soon found pictures on Twitter of their cars flooded up to their hoods.
During a parking ban, residents are encouraged to park in municipal parking lots, including the high school since it is closed during snowstorms. No one could have expected record high flooding to engulf the very same lot, as well as the football field. Photos soon began to emerge on Twitter showing that cars unfortunate enough to have followed parking instructions had just parked themselves for the last time.
The high school football field was similarly affected, with more than four feet of water flowing across it at times.
Waters (and ice, and snow) receded Thursday night, but the damage was done. Around 60 cars parked in the flooded lot should be considered totaled at this point. Once water, particularly salt water from the ocean, seeps into an electrical system, it starts corrosion. This can never be completely eliminated short of replacing the entire electrical system—a job that can cost more than the car is worth.
"It’s an unfortunate situation," Gloucester Chief Administrator Jim Destino told WBZ. "We’ve never had a storm surge like this in the city. This parking lot was flooded. They can’t be salvaged. They were all under water and floating."
"We almost died when we saw it, to be honest with you. It was just like unbelievable. We were like, it was shocking," a woman named Kathy told Boston 25 News. "We lost two cars in our home, our neighbors lost two, our other neighbors lost three." Boston 25 News asked the mayor of Gloucester what the city plans to do about the flooded cars. It is recommending that owners call their insurance companies to report the damage at this time.
As far as the city's liability is concerned, Chief Administrative Officer Destino says, "It's an act of God, really. It's a storm."