Flooding in Hampton After Powerful Waves Hammer Coastline
Flooding in Hampton After Powerful Waves Hammer Coastline

By Ray Brewer and Kelly O’Brien


Ocean Boulevard and other roads in Hampton were closed Wednesday morning as flooding pushed over seawalls on the Seacoast.

High tide at Hampton Beach was at 9:50 a.m., but flooding and splash-over continued as the tide receded and the strong winter storm continued to pull away.

Hampton police declared an emergency, and a shelter was opened at the Hampton Academy gym for any voluntary evacuations.

Hampton Police Chief Alex Reno said Ocean Boulevard was closed because it wasn’t safe for people and vehicles to be on the road. Police discouraged people from going to the boardwalk to check out the storm as officers responded to reports of debris being washed up on the road.

Police said there is concern farther north on Ocean Boulevard that some homes might be structurally compromised after floodwaters moved through the area, and residents in homes along the coastline have been asked to evacuate if they can.

“The wind was blowing like a freight train,” said Hampton resident Leslie Bouvier. “It almost felt like it was going to lift me off the deck. It was crazy. I have never seen anything like it.”

Around 10 a.m., the water was a couple of feet deep in the area of the Breakers By the Sea hotel. Hotel owner Roger Brown said the flooding was the worst he had ever seen.

“Right now, we’ve got probably 2-3 inches of water in the bottom floor,” he said.

Plow trucks that had been used to clear the snow just two days ago were used to clear the roads of water.

The town opened its emergency center, and firefighters responded to several calls, but there were no reports of any injuries.

Floodwaters were also seen blocks away from the seashore, behind the Casino Ballroom and near the Hampton Police Department.

“We are going to have to make another assessment to determine if there are any roadway concerns, structural concerns, in the area,” Reno said.

Reno said crews will also check on the integrity of the seawall as the tide continues to recede. He said homes that were flooded could also have structural integrity issues.

Some roads, such as High Street, remained closed Wednesday evening. Police said drivers should not try to drive through any flooded roadways.

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