A Massachusetts mother who once joked that only a rogue ocean wave would drag her out of her beloved home, came frighteningly close to that actually happening on Tuesday after a blizzard packing strong winds flooded her house in the town of Scituate.
“I just moved into the house in October and thought that we were OK for the flood warnings,” Erin Masyczek said. “Next thing I knew, right when high tide hit at 3:30 p.m., both of our cars were up to the windows with water.”
To escape, Masyczek and her boyfriend, John Drugan, called the Scituate Fire Department to deploy the Massachusetts National Guard.
“It was surreal,” she said. “To be in need of the National Guard and have people there willing to have beet-red faces absolutely drenched in waist-high water to come get me was really humbling.”
"I wouldn't trade having this kind of town to live in because of having sand in my living room.”
Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker this week activated 500 National Guard troops due to the extreme weather conditions. In Scituate, units were deployed to the local fire department where they set up high-water vehicles along with dive teams to reach people in heavily flooded areas.
“There was nothing life threatening in this particular situation,” said Spc. Jian Barcelo, who rescued Masyczek. “I didn’t save her life, but she was in a dangerous situation and we were able to make her life a little easier.”
Grateful for being rescued, Masyczek said she now can’t help but think about all that she may lose.
“I’m terrified that all my emotional belongings might be gone in the house I just started re-building,” she said.
The toughest part, she added, will be explaining the situation to her 6-year-old son who is living with autism.
Masyczek’s son had been staying with his grandmother in Hanover, Massachusetts, during the storm. She said she is worried about his reaction when he does return home.
“He called me crying last night thinking I am going to be swept into oblivion,” she said. “The home he just moved into is all of a sudden in danger of not being there. He doesn’t take change very well.”
But despite the damage to her property, Masyczek said she plans to stay in the community and rebuild, while keeping in mind these lessons learned — for the next storm.
“This is the first place where we have ever really felt like home and I wouldn’t trade having this kind of town to live in because of having sand in my living room,” she said. "I've made a joke that I will be in this house until I wash off into the ocean and now I feel like my house might actually be close to that."