Daily Hampshire Gazette - Established 1786
P/sunny
75°
P/sunny
Hi 78° | Lo 51°

Gov. Deval Patrick urges non-emergency vehicles to stay off roads after noon Friday

  • Chris Oppenberg of Andover Small Engine Service assembles a home generator for a customer in Andover, Mass., Thursday, Feb. 7, 2013, in preparation for a major winter storm headed toward the U.S. Northeast. The National Weather Service calls for up to 2 feet of snow expected for a Boston-area region that has seen mostly bare ground this winter. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

    Chris Oppenberg of Andover Small Engine Service assembles a home generator for a customer in Andover, Mass., Thursday, Feb. 7, 2013, in preparation for a major winter storm headed toward the U.S. Northeast. The National Weather Service calls for up to 2 feet of snow expected for a Boston-area region that has seen mostly bare ground this winter. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola) Purchase photo reprints »

  • A worker walks up towards a plow smoothing a large salt pile at Eastern Salt Company in Chelsea, Mass., Thursday, Feb. 7, 2013, in preparation for a major winter storm headed toward the U.S. Northeast. The National Weather Service calls for up to 2 feet of snow expected for a Boston-area region that has seen mostly bare ground this winter. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

    A worker walks up towards a plow smoothing a large salt pile at Eastern Salt Company in Chelsea, Mass., Thursday, Feb. 7, 2013, in preparation for a major winter storm headed toward the U.S. Northeast. The National Weather Service calls for up to 2 feet of snow expected for a Boston-area region that has seen mostly bare ground this winter. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola) Purchase photo reprints »

  • Salt is loaded into a pickup truck at Eastern Salt Company in Chelsea, Mass., Thursday, Feb. 7, 2013, in preparation for a major winter storm headed toward the U.S. Northeast. The National Weather Service calls for up to 2 feet of snow expected for a Boston-area region that has seen mostly bare ground this winter. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

    Salt is loaded into a pickup truck at Eastern Salt Company in Chelsea, Mass., Thursday, Feb. 7, 2013, in preparation for a major winter storm headed toward the U.S. Northeast. The National Weather Service calls for up to 2 feet of snow expected for a Boston-area region that has seen mostly bare ground this winter. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola) Purchase photo reprints »

  • Work is ongoing on large salt piles at Eastern Salt Company in Chelsea, Mass., Thursday, Feb. 7, 2013, in preparation for a major winter storm headed toward the U.S. Northeast. The National Weather Service calls for up to 2 feet of snow for the Boston-area region that has seen mostly bare ground this winter. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

    Work is ongoing on large salt piles at Eastern Salt Company in Chelsea, Mass., Thursday, Feb. 7, 2013, in preparation for a major winter storm headed toward the U.S. Northeast. The National Weather Service calls for up to 2 feet of snow for the Boston-area region that has seen mostly bare ground this winter. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola) Purchase photo reprints »

  • Kelly Pomerleau of Andover Small Engine Service repairs a snow blower for a customer in Andover, Mass., Thursday, Feb. 7, 2013, in preparation for a major winter storm headed toward the U.S. Northeast. The National Weather Service calls for up to 2 feet of snow expected for a Boston-area region that has seen mostly bare ground this winter. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

    Kelly Pomerleau of Andover Small Engine Service repairs a snow blower for a customer in Andover, Mass., Thursday, Feb. 7, 2013, in preparation for a major winter storm headed toward the U.S. Northeast. The National Weather Service calls for up to 2 feet of snow expected for a Boston-area region that has seen mostly bare ground this winter. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola) Purchase photo reprints »

  • Chris Oppenberg of Andover Small Engine Service assembles a home generator for a customer in Andover, Mass., Thursday, Feb. 7, 2013, in preparation for a major winter storm headed toward the U.S. Northeast. The National Weather Service calls for up to 2 feet of snow expected for a Boston-area region that has seen mostly bare ground this winter. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
  • A worker walks up towards a plow smoothing a large salt pile at Eastern Salt Company in Chelsea, Mass., Thursday, Feb. 7, 2013, in preparation for a major winter storm headed toward the U.S. Northeast. The National Weather Service calls for up to 2 feet of snow expected for a Boston-area region that has seen mostly bare ground this winter. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
  • Salt is loaded into a pickup truck at Eastern Salt Company in Chelsea, Mass., Thursday, Feb. 7, 2013, in preparation for a major winter storm headed toward the U.S. Northeast. The National Weather Service calls for up to 2 feet of snow expected for a Boston-area region that has seen mostly bare ground this winter. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
  • Work is ongoing on large salt piles at Eastern Salt Company in Chelsea, Mass., Thursday, Feb. 7, 2013, in preparation for a major winter storm headed toward the U.S. Northeast. The National Weather Service calls for up to 2 feet of snow for the Boston-area region that has seen mostly bare ground this winter. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
  • Kelly Pomerleau of Andover Small Engine Service repairs a snow blower for a customer in Andover, Mass., Thursday, Feb. 7, 2013, in preparation for a major winter storm headed toward the U.S. Northeast. The National Weather Service calls for up to 2 feet of snow expected for a Boston-area region that has seen mostly bare ground this winter. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

Patrick said Thursday that he encourages all schools to close Friday and non-emergency vehicles to stay off the road after noon.

The National Weather Service has issued a blizzard warning for eastern areas of Massachusetts including Cape Cod and the islands. In New England, it could prove to be among the top 10 snowstorms in history, and perhaps even break Boston’s record of 27.6 inches, set in 2003, forecasters said.

“By all accounts we’re expecting a serious weather event,” Patrick said, urging residents to keep an eye on changing conditions. “Mother Nature is unpredictable and forecasts change and change quickly.”

Patrick said he’s urging drivers to stay off the roads to give plowing crews the chance to keep up with the falling snow. He said if he needs to order roads closed to traffic, he will. He said people should make sure they have basic food and medicine and a full tank of gas.

The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority and commuter rail will shut down at 3:30 p.m., when the last trains and buses will leave downtown Boston. Amtrak said its Northeast trains will stop also running in New England on Friday afternoon.

Logan International Airport will remain open, Massport Aviation Director Ed Freni said, but airlines aren’t operating flights beginning Friday afternoon until the storm winds down Saturday.

The snow is forecast to begin falling Friday morning, picking up in intensity in the afternoon with the heaviest Friday night into early Saturday. Winds up to 40 mph with gusts up to 65 mph combined with heavy snowfall are expected to make travel dangerous. Widespread 2-foot snow accumulations are expected, with more than 2 feet possible in the greater Boston area, and areas west and south.

State Energy Secretary Rick Sullivan said officials have been in contact with all four of the state’s utilities and each has filed an action plan with the state. Work to restore power won’t start until the storm is over.

The Red Cross will open regional shelters to move individuals from warming centers to overnight shelters as needed.

Fire officials said exterior vents to gas furnaces and heating devices should be kept clear and candles, though not recommended, kept away from materials that could catch fire. Charcoal grills and generators should not be used indoors.

State Transportation Secretary Richard Davey said shutting down the MBTA is not unprecedented. It has been done twice in the past 18 months for storms. Davy said it should be running again before Monday morning’s rush hour.

Related

Area residents stock up on movies, snowblowers, shovels and books

Monday, February 11, 2013

EASTHAMPTON — Trevor Chalmers, his backpack heavy with groceries from Big E’s Supermarket, picked up one of the variety of snow shovels lined up on the sidewalk outside of Manchester Hardware store on Union Street. He leaned on the handle, pressing the plastic blade of one shovel onto the sidewalk to test its strength. “I need a shovel because I … 0

Road crews urge people to stay home during storm

Monday, February 11, 2013

As a winter storm makes its way toward the state, public works crews Thursday were preparing for an extended weather event, large accumulations of snow and potentially treacherous road conditions today and Saturday. All around the Valley, road bosses were asking people to stay off the roads to make their jobs of clearing the streets more manageable. “Stay home and … 0

Valley to see plenty of snow, though no blizzard watch

Monday, February 11, 2013

The potentially historic blizzard barreling its way toward eastern Massachusetts and other parts of New England today likely won’t bring the same amount of snow or wind to the Valley, but that doesn’t mean the region will go unscathed. “You are going to get a lot of snow; it’s going to snow and snow and snow (everywhere),” said Eleanor Vallier-Talbot, … 0

Blizzard of 2013: Postponed are Winterfest in Amherst and UMass hockey and men's lacrosse in Amherst, as well as high school championships; Mountain Road closes

Friday, February 8, 2013

Easthampton closes Mountain Road at 3 a.m. Friday  Mountain Road in Easthampton, the section of Route 141 that winds its way up the steep side of Mount Tom, is often closed during snowstorms, but Easthampton Public Works Director Joseph I. Pipczynski said this is the first time the city has a planned closure of the road to Holyoke. It will … 1

There are no comments yet. Be the first!
Post a Comment

You must be registered to comment on stories. Click here to register.