Orleans: Low Lying Roads in Your Neighborhood?

Low-Lying Roads in Your Neighborhood?

Have heavy rains and higher tides flooded roads in your neighborhood?  How might an old-fashioned nor’easter, arriving at a full moon high tide impact your access to work, school, or help from emergency vehicles?

Orleans is one of 15 towns working with the Cape Commission to shape town-specific answers to those questions. Initiated in 2021, the Low-Lying Roads Project takes a hard look at vulnerabilities in the roadway network

With funding support from the U.S. Economic Development Administration and the Massachusetts Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness program, the Commission has contracted with the Woods Hole Group to conduct vulnerability assessments of roadway segments, bridges, and culverts due to flooding from the combined effects of sea level rise and storm surge. The chart below presents a snapshot of the findings.

What’s next? As the table below suggests, the risk of flooding in multiple neighborhoods is real. Options range from gray/built infrastructure(drains, pipes, basins) to green infrastructure to managed retreat.

Community members will be able to help shape how Orleans will approach decisions about Low-Lying Roads – and monitor the effectiveness of actions taken – in Town Comprehensive Plan meetings coming up on November 16 and December 5.


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