With a borderline "historic" blizzard approaching the city, Boston officials have already begun to make arrangements for snow removal, power outages and emergecy rescue.
With the latest forecasts predicting 1-2 feet of snow to fall in Boston from Friday afternoon through Saturday morning, city departments are already preparing. More than 600 pieces of equipment and snowplows will be active on city streets by early Friday morning, according to the mayor's office.
The Office of Emergency Management is coordinating with city agencies. NSTAR and the Weather Service, Boston Police, Fire and Emergency Medical Services have arranged for additional staffing. Police will be stationed at major intersections around the city. The Inspectional Services Department will double its shifts of inspectors working this weekend to deal with anticipated power and heat outages.
“This is a very serious storm that is developing,” Mayor Thomas Menino said. “Safety is our No. 1 priority, and my snow team will continue to monitor the situation so that Boston is ready for whatever comes our way.”
The city is asking commuters to pay close attention to snow-related announcements in the next 24 hours in the event that the city urges them not drive their vehicles into the city on Friday. If the weather projections hold, the priority will be on giving Public Works crews room to work to plow the snow, city officials said in a statement.
The Boston Fire Department is also urging residents to be careful if space heaters are used during the cold weather. The city has experienced several recent fires due to improperly used or malfunctioning space heaters.
The Mayor's 24-Hour Hotline will plan to have additional staff on-hand during the storm, and residents with weather-related questions or concerns, including down power lines, down trees or icy conditions, should call 617-635-4500.
More Snow Coverage:
- Weekend Storm Alert Upgraded to Blizzard Watch
- Storm Could Drop 18 Inches of Snow on Boston
- Boston Snow Emergency Parking in Charlestown
- Boston Remembers the Blizzard of 1978
For updates and other information about the Feb. 8-9 winter storm, see Charlestown Patch's storm center.