Gov. Patrick bans vehicle traffic as storm hits
FRAMINGHAM, Mass. (WHDH) -- Governor Deval Patrick has declared a state of emergency and banned travel on roads as of 4 p.m. as a blizzard that could bring nearly 3 feet of snow to the region began to intensify.
With a blizzard bearing down on the Bay State, the governor took a step unseen in Massachusetts since 1978.
“I have now signed an executive order banning vehicle traffic effective at four o'clock,” Governor Deval Patrick said.
Governor Deval Patrick says safe travel will be nearly impossible; parts of the state are expecting three feet of snow. That could mean two to three inches of snowfall an hour at the height of the storm.
If you are not an essential part of storm response and you don't obey the ban, you could find yourself facing a fine of up to $500 or up to one year in prison.
“That’s steep but I think people will adhere to it,” one woman said.
“If they have to send out the police to rescue you, the fine is justifiable, but one year in prison, I feel it’s a little too much,” another woman said.
Governor Patrick says the point isn't to go searching for offenders -- it's about keeping people safe and letting road and power crews get to work.
“It makes sense,” one man said.
It was not immediately clear when the ban will be lifted.
Emergency management officials in the bunker said that some crews have been sidelined at the height of the storm due to low visibility.
The crews will get back to work as soon as they can.
Some 5,000 National Guardsman will be on hand helping dig out and do whatever needs to be done.