Mattapoisett Scout posts reminder of hurricanes past
Mattapoisett — Jared Watson's interest in weather and climate change created the perfect storm when he was approached about a possible project for his Eagle Scout badge.
With help from Troop 53, the 17-year-old Mattapoisett resident and Bishop Stang High School senior posted signs and bands around more than a dozen electrical poles in town to show the water levels reached during the 1938 hurricane and Hurricane Bob. Both storms resulted in heavy flooding, injuries and property damage.
“Weather has always been one of my interests,” said Watson, who follows the site West Island Weather.
Watson's Eagle Scout project is part of Weather Ready Mattapoisett, a group of town officials, community members, nonprofits and the Environmental Protection Agency aimed at equipping the town and residents to be better prepared for the next big storm.
Watson, the son of Cissy and Barry Watson, identified low-lying areas across town and worked with the EPA to determine the flood levels of the two hurricanes in those areas. He also designed metal signs, made by Village Signs, that explain what the bands are.
On Sunday, Watson, members of his troop and his parents installed the bands and signs.
The project is the final major undertaking for Watson's scouting career, and one he's looked forward to since he was a Webelo.
“When I was around 11, I decided I wanted to do Eagle Scout,” he said.
Watson, who spent his early years in Michigan, said the Boy Scouts have been a good social outlet for him and that he enjoys the activities they do as a troop.
“I like all the camping and getting to enjoy the outdoors and learn,” he said. “It's my one big activity that I put my time into.”
Watson's mother said he enjoys anything he can dig into, from science and physics to theology and music.
The later is an interest he plans to focus on in college, where he wants to pursue sound production and music recording technology.
Weather will still be a side interest though, and Watson hopes his Eagle Scout project will be of use to the town.
“I hope it helps them be prepared in the future,” he said.
Watson will be at the upcoming Weather Ready Mattapoisett presentation on Oct. 13, 6:30-8:30 p.m., at Old Hammondtown School. For more information, click here.