Massachusetts braces for storm; gov urges drivers to stay off roads


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BOSTON (AP/WPRI) — Forecasters say a nor’easter moving toward Massachusetts could bring about two feet of snow and high winds to central parts of the state and 8″ to 12″ to Southeastern Massachusetts.

The storm expected to start Tuesday morning has been tracking farther west, increasing potential snowfall amounts in central and western Massachusetts and decreasing snowfall predictions to southeastern Massachusetts.

Despite the lower snow totals, New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell said the city is ready for the storm. In fact, a 1.000-ton shipment of road salt just arrived Monday.

Mitchell said the city is already over its snow budget for the season, so he’s hoping Mother Nature will be kind.

“We budget about $450,000 a year for snow removal and we’re over that now and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that we won’t be that much farther over after this storm,” Mitchell said.

The mayor said starting at 3 a.m. Tuesday, the city will have 120 trucks will be out treating the roads during the storm.

Because of the storm, trash pickup in the city will be delayed by one day this week. A parking ban goes into effect at midnight.

“People will have to do what they ordinarily do during snow storms, which is park on the opposite side of the fire hydrants on the streets,” Mitchell said.

Fall River Mayor Jasiel Correia said people who violate the city’s parking ban will have their vehicle towed.

During the ban, which goes into effect at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday, parking is available in the Flint municipal parking lot on Cash Street and the municipal lot on Columbia and Hunter Streets.

In Seekonk, a parking ban also goes into effect a midnight and doesn’t expire until noon on Thursday.

“Tomorrow we have everything in place already, between the highway department, the police department, and the fire department,” said Lt. David Dyson, Seekonk Police Department. “The highway department is going to have a number of trucks on the road and running. All’s we’re asking is people stay off the road if at all possible. Stay at home, let us do our job.”

Southeastern Massachusetts could dodge the worst of the snow accumulation, though the strong winds could cause a problem.

The National Weather Service says Worcester could get 23 inches of snow.

The snow could fall up to four inches per hour and bring wind gusts of 65 mph or higher to Cape Ann, Cape Cod and the islands.

Gov. Charlie Baker urged people to take public transportation, and not drive. The MBTA will run on a regular schedule. Ferries are canceled. Commuter rail service will run on a severe weather schedule.

Amtrak cancelled Acela service Tuesday between New York City and Boston.

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