SOMERSET, Mass. (WPRI) — Saturday morning’s planned implosion of the Brayton Point Towers will have more than just eager spectators standing by. Local and state public safety officials will be stationed hours before the demolition and will stick around afterward as well.
Somerset Fire Chief Scott Jepson says his crews will arrive around 6:30 a.m. Saturday. Traffic control points will begin shortly thereafter, according to Jepson, and rolling blockade of I-195 will begin just before the implosion occurs.
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Jepson says he knows area residents have voiced concerns about evacuating should something happen, and that’s why the fire department will be on hand.
“We will be providing a fire engine and ambulance to that area of town to cover both the site and the area neighborhood,” Jepson said.
On the day of the implosion, a command post with local and state public safety officials will be set up at the entrance to the former power plant.
“State police will be monitoring the highways making sure nobody’s stopping on the highway, pulling over to watch,” Jepson said. “Coast Guard and the harbormaster will be out there enforcing a distance zone, keeping boaters away as well.”
The main concern Saturday, Jepson said, is the wind, and how fast and what direction it’s coming from.
Windy or not, the implosion will create a dust cloud, but Jepson says there are plans in place to minimize its effect.
“Water curtains [will be] set up at the towers, they have some physical barriers, some concrete and storage containers that they’re gonna use to try and block some of the dust,” Jepson explained. “We’re really cognizant of trying to minimize the disruption to the local residents and businesses. But public safety is obviously our number-one priority.”
With the potential for rain in the forecast, a call will be made by Friday if the implosion needs to be rescheduled to Sunday morning.
WPRI 12 will have live team coverage of this weekend’s demolition on air and online.
WEB EXTRA: The video below shows footage from when Meteorologist T.J. Del Santo takes a tour of the Brayton Point cooling towers as they neared completion back in 2011.