Mayor Menino declares snow emergency
The following is a press release from the office of Mayor Thomas M. Menino:
Mayor Thomas M. Menino today announced a Snow Emergency and parking ban for the City of Boston will go into effect tonight at 9 p.m. An updated forecast indicates the storm is expected to result in up to 8 inches of snow in parts of Boston, with heaviest snow fall between 5 p.m. Saturday and 1 a.m. Sunday. There is also the potential for rain during this time, which will result in heavier snow than previously forecast. Temperatures over the next week are not expected to rise above freezing, making road clearing a top priority for public safety. The Snow Emergency and ban will go into effect at 9 p.m. to allow for previously planned evening activities in the Downtown area. Members of the Mayor's Snow Team met again today to discuss the latest storm related information and response plans for the weekend. The Snow Team will continue to monitor the forecast throughout the weather event, and will continue to receive an updated forecasts.
“With up to 8 inches of snow expected in parts of the City, and freezing temperatures forecast for the next week, it's extremely important we get our roadways cleared as soon as possible in the interest of public safety," Mayor Menino said. "We want everyone to enjoy the holiday weekend in our city, but we're urging an abundance of caution for all. Residents and visitors should allow for additional travel time throughout the city, and use public transportation whenever possible. Our teams will be working hard throughout the weekend to ensure a safe and enjoyable New Year's celebration in the City of Boston.”
Boston Public Works crews are prepared for the snow event, and will have approximately 200 pieces of equipment active on City streets by 6 p.m. this evening. Crews will work through the night to clear roadways, but are urging pedestrians, bikers and drivers to exercise caution and pay special attention to narrowed roadways. Boston Police, Fire and Emergency Medical Services have arranged for additional staffing, and Police will open its Unified Command Center at 4 p.m. this afternoon. The Transportation Department will open its traffic management center this evening, and will begin clearing vehicles violating existing parking restrictions, particularly at intersections, at 4 p.m. today.
The Mayor's 24-Hour Hotline will have additional staff on-hand through the weekend and residents with weather-related questions or concerns, including down power lines, down trees or icy conditions, should call (617) 635-4500. The City's Shelter Commission asks that any resident who sees a potential medical emergency involving a homeless person dial 9-1-1. The City's shelters have activated emergency procedures today.
Boston EMS reminds residents that shoveling snow, particularly when it is heavy and wet, can pose a serious health safety risk to persons with heart disease and senior citizens. Residents should consider seeking the assistance of a family member, a helpful neighbor or hire someone to help. Additional cold weather safety tips can be found here: http://www.cityofboston.gov/cold/safety.asp.
Mayor Menino also reminds residents of the following:
• Use public transportation whenever possible and avoid driving vehicles on slippery roads to keep roadways clear for plowing equipment and emergency vehicles.
• Property owners are reminded to salt and sand sidewalks, stairs and pedestrian ramps to prevent slippery surfaces.
• Residents are encouraged to shovel out hydrants and catch basins near or abutting their property to assist our public safety agencies and protect against flooding.
• Please check on elderly or vulnerable neighbors who may need help.
• Use caution when walking near buildings that may have falling snow or ice.
During a Snow Emergency, parking is prohibited on all major arteries in Boston. These streets are posted with “Tow Zone No Parking During Snow Emergency” signs. A listing of major arteries and alternate parking can be found at http://www.cityofboston.gov/snow/parking/. On streets other than major arteries, parking within 20 feet of an intersection or further than one foot from the curb is prohibited, as this impedes access for both emergency vehicles and snow plows. During declared snow emergencies, discounted parking is available at several parking lots and garages to cars that display Boston resident parking stickers.
Residents are encouraged to use the City’s “Know Snow” program for access to other important storm-related information. To receive notifications, register for the city’s Alert Boston network at http://www.cityofboston.gov/snow/. If you would like to receive updates on the storm on Twitter you can follow us: @NotifyBoston.