EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

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February 9, 2013

Salisbury orders oceanfront evacuation

SALISBURY BEACH - A Code Red call just before 9 a.m. from Salisbury police Chief Tom Fowler announced a mandatory evacuation of oceanfront homes after a tidal wave reportedly sent water into a home around 240 N. End Blvd.

That required the evacuation of a family there with the help of a front-end loader, according to numerous scanner and Twitter reports.

N. End Boulevard from Broadway at the beach center to Route 286 near the Seabrook border has been closed since before 10 a.m.

National Guard trucks arrived on the street just past 10:30 a.m. today. The only other vehicles seen this morning have been dump trucks with plows, several ambulances, front-end loaders and backhoes, a MVRTA bus, Department of Transportation pickups and local emergency vehicles.

Just before 10 a.m., there were Twitter reports that the Salisbury Fire Department was requesting additional resources to help with stranded people about 180 N. End Blvd. That has not been confirmed.

There also were several Twitter reports of local officials requesting additional cold water survival suits.

Many residents awoke to find themselves almost trapped in their homes, due to huge snowdrifts blocking doors and reducing cars to barely identifiable mounds in driveways.

Snow continues to fall, but the wind has quieted significantly from what it was overnight. High tide was about an hour ago, but the ocean remains fiercely angry. Wind continues to blow snow into drifts and reduce visibility.

It's difficult to distinguish some year-round residences from seasonal homes because few people have tried to venture out through the drifts.

National Grid trucks have been seen on the street, although power is still on, at least on the end closest to the beach center.

A Code Red automated call yesterday alerted residents to be prepared to evacuate to the Hilton senior center and to call for help from the town's emergency management department for help if needed.

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