Governor Baker Urges Caution Ahead of Winter Storm

BOSTON- Governor Charlie Baker today is urging caution ahead of a winter storm expected to impact much of the Commonwealth beginning Tuesday morning. Current forecasts project at least 12 inches of snow across most of Massachusetts, with potential for up to 18 inches, high winds and minor to moderate coastal flooding. Forecasts also predict extremely fast snowfall rates of 2 to 4 inches per hour, creating white out conditions and complicating efforts to keep roadways clear. The Baker-Polito Administration is advising the public to plan ahead and be prepared for dangerous travel conditions that warrant staying off the roads, avoiding unnecessary travel and working from home if possible.

“We are actively monitoring the winter storm expected to impact much of Massachusetts tomorrow with the potential for up to 18 inches of quickly falling snow, high winds and minor to moderate coastal flooding,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “Extremely fast snow fall rates will create dangerous roadway conditions, and we urge everyone to be prepared to stay off the roads, take public transit if necessary and work from home if possible. We will continue to monitor the forecast and provide updates as the storm approaches.”

The Baker-Polito Administration remains in close contact with the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA), National Weather Service (NWS), Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) and State Police (MSP) to monitor the forecast and will work to alert the public with important updates or notifications.

Highway Travel: MassDOT highway crews and contractors will be treating roadways throughout the day, and activated for snow clearing deployments as conditions warrant. HOV lanes will not be opened for Tuesday’s morning or evening commutes. Tandem trucks and specially permitted vehicles (propane) will be restricted from travelling the Turnpike as of 7:00 AM tomorrow morning.

MBTA: The MBTA is planning to operate a normal weekday schedule, with the exception of ferry and Mattapan Line service. Tuesday ferry service is suspended and the Mattapan Line will be replaced by bus shuttles. Commuters are encouraged to be patient, allow plenty of time for travel and plan ahead by checking MBTA.com/winter or @MBTA on Twitter for real-time updates.

Commuter Rail: The Commuter Rail will be operating a severe weather or “blue level” schedule. Commuters are encouraged to visit http://www.mbta.com/winter/commuter_rail_advisory/ for schedule information.

Massport/Airport: Cancellations are expected tomorrow and travelers are encouraged to check with their airline carriers for additional information about their flights.

Public Safety: Please keep home and auto exhaust vents clear to prevent carbon monoxide exposure and avoid downed utility wires. Also, please assist in keeping sidewalks, and fire hydrants and storm drains in your neighborhood clear. If you should lose power during the storm, please visit www.mass.gov/dfs for safety tips from the Department of Fire Services on home generators, carbon monoxide and candle safety tips.

The State Emergency Operations Center at MEMA Headquarters in Framingham is closely monitoring the storm and forecast to provide situational awareness.

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