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Saturday, January 29, 2022

Baker Polito Administration Continues to Urge All Residents to Limit Travel Throughout Winter Storm

 Baker Polito Administration Continues to Urge All Residents to Limit Travel Throughout Winter Storm 

 

BOSTON – Governor Charlie Baker and Lt. Governor Karyn Polito today joined public safety and transportation officials to update Massachusetts residents on the ongoing winter storm. With heavy snowfall rates and wind gusts causing whiteout conditions, residents are urged to limit non-essential travel as the storm continues and clean up proceeds. Drivers should avoid travel tonight through tomorrow morning as crews continue clean up efforts.

 

Forecasts continue to predict maximum snow totals of near 30 inches in parts of the South Shore and eastern Massachusetts, with 18 to 24 inches in central parts of the state and up to 12 inches in parts of Western Massachusetts.

 

Light to moderate snow will continue into Saturday evening, with snow expected to end in the eastern part of the state by 11:00 PM.

  

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT)’s ban on travel for tractor trailer trucks, tandems and special permit haulers is in effect until midnight. Drivers of large trucks must continue to use caution after midnight and are encouraged to travel at or below the speed limit after the ban is lifted as drifting snow may cover road surfaces and storm crews will continue to be on highways involved in operations. 

 

The Massachusetts National Guard has equipment and personnel standing by to assist the Massachusetts State Police (MSP) and local authorities with twelve teams positioned in the eastern part of the state.

 

Over 100,000 customers are without power at this time, mostly in southeastern Massachusetts, Cape Cod, and the Islands. The Administration remains in close contact with the electric distribution companies (EDCs), who are working to restore service quickly and safely to their customers; however, winds must subside to 35mph or less in order for utility crews to be able to enter bucket trucks and address powerline issues.

 

MBTA and Commuter Rail:

The MBTA continues its suspension of Green Line D train service and the running of replacement bus service between Reservoir and Kenmore Stations. The Mattapan Line remains suspended with replacement buses. Ferry service between Charlestown and Long Wharf continues to be suspended. Decisions to suspend bus service will be made on a route-by-route basis.

 

The Commuter Rail continues to operate on a regular weekend schedule for all lines, with the exception of the Fitchburg Line running a storm schedule with trains operating between Littleton and Wachusett. On the Fitchburg Line, the planned bus diversion is canceled for Saturday and trains will operate between Littleton and Wachusett.

 

For the protection of workers and riders, the previously planned weekend work on the Silver Line between South Station and Silver Line Way as well as on the Green Line D Branch from Newton Highlands to Riverside has been cancelled.

 

MBTA emergency crews continue to be prepared throughout the storm to respond to instances of broken rail, issues affecting the power systems, potential switch problems and any water-related issues that may occur.

 

The MBTA’s Emergency Operations Center will closely monitor rail and bus service throughout the storm and provide updates to commuters at www.mbta.com/winter. Service alerts will be posted on Twitter at @MBTA and @MBTA_CR

 

Highway Safety:

MassDOT deployed approximately 3,000 pieces of state and vendor equipment for snow and ice operations. MassDOT urges members of the public to stay updated on reduced speed limits, tractor trailer bans and roadway conditions.

 

Public Safety:

The Commonwealth’s Emergency Operations Center in Framingham and Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) Regional Emergency Operations Centers in Tewksbury and Agawam remain activated and staffed.

 

Nearly 30 communities have stood up local Emergency Operation Centers to coordinate with MEMA. Ten local and regional shelters and five warming centers have opened in eastern and southeastern areas of the state.

 

DCR Closures:

Parking bans along Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) managed parkways remain in effect. The parking bans are consistent with local municipal bans where the parkways are located, and will be lifted shortly after the completion of snow and ice clearing operations. The agency asks all drivers on coastal parkways to use extreme caution and to watch for lane closures due to potential flooding and storm debris in the roadways. Furthermore, all coastal DCR-operated parking lots, as well as some agency-managed recreational facilities, are closed due to the storm, but are expected to reopen at varying times on Sunday, January 30, 2022. Please visit DCR’s website and Twitter @MassDCR account for updates.

 

The Baker-Polito Administration remains in close contact with MEMA, National Weather Service, MassDOT and MSP to monitor the forecast and will work to alert the public with important updates or notifications. Please visit mass.gov/snow to learn what you should do during and after a winter storm.

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