Plows ready, salt piled up ahead of possible blizzard
WESTON, Mass. (WHDH) -- State agencies gather at emergency management headquarters as they prepare for a storm that has the potential to dump two feet of snow on most of the state.
With a blizzard warning in effect, drivers have been warned to stay off the road, but the Department of Transportation already has a plan in place for their crews to make sure the highways are kept clear.
“Make sure they have their ducks in a row to deal with issues like power outages, sheltering, coastal flooding,” said Peter Judge, MEMA.
But, we do have a general idea of the timing of the storm.
State leaders want to make sure we avoid a situation like the one that happened back in 07, when every highway turned into a parking lot because people left work as the snow started to fall.
“The key thing is to listen to the public officials out there. If they're warned things are going to get worse, now is a good time to leave from work or now is a good time to stop doing your errands. Stay off the road,” said Judge.
Behind the scenes at DOT, crews monitored every major highway, keeping several different eyes on the impact of the storms.
“We're already preparing. We've made sure our salt stockpiles are full. We're working on planning work shifts, so beginning early Friday morning, we'll start running round-the-clock snow and ice operations,” said Frank DePaola of the Massachusetts DOT.
"We can deal with a storm of any magnitude. We're prepared. We are preparing for several inches if not a few feet of snow,” said DePaola.
MassDOT has access to at least 4,000 contracted plows, and several hundred of its own. They'll be working in shifts, for at least 24-hours straight.
Private companies were also getting ready. Workers at J.J. O'Brien and Sons, Incorporated in Waltham said all that's left is to load the trucks with salt.
"We've started to bring all of the equipment in today, our mechanics, we have two that pretty much run the snow show as far as getting everything ready,” said owner Stu Falconer.
What can you do? Fill up your gas tank - it will keep your fuel line from freezing - and be prepared. New Englanders haven't seen a major storm in at least two years. So if you need new shovels, snow blowers, flashlights or batteries, before the storms hits is the time to get it.
"Watching the news…last year I didn't have a shovel and I was bummed out. So now I got this and I'm alright. I should be good,” said John Walker, preparing for the storm.
The Red Cross also recommended having an emergency preparedness kit at home.