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Acton Storm Center: Blizzard Warning Lifted

Stay up-to-date on this weekend's snowstorm.

UPDATED: 4:16 P.M., SATURDAY

Bruins game has been canceled. http://bruins.nhl.com/

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Statewide travel ban ending at 4 p.m. according to multiple reports.

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Monday rain could put more weight on snow laden roofs.

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Just a reminder driving ban still in effect.

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The National Weather Service has lifted the blizzard warning for Middlesex County, 18 to 24 inches dumped during the storm.

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I think we have a final total for Acton, courtesy WCVB: 25.4 inches!

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Power outage update, a few more affected:

NSTAR Customers Served: 9744 NSTAR Customers Affected: 4 % of NSTAR Customers Affected: 0.04

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Just back from digging out myself. Some news from the T:

The now two-day blizzard that has crushed Boston has caused the MBTA to stay shut down through Saturday.

“Due to the impacts of a severe winter storm, MBTA service will remain suspended on all  modes Saturday, February 9, 2013,” says a post on MBTA.com.

MBTA personnel will be clearing tracks in an effort to get the subways, commuter rail trains and buses back up and running.

The MBTA does not have an estimate on when service will resume.

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Power outage report from NSTAR -- if this is your neighbor, please check on his/her/their safety.

NSTAR Customers Served: 9744 NSTAR Customers Affected: 1 % of NSTAR Customers Affected: 0.01

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Good morning as you glance out your window to nearly 2 feet of snow.

A couple of updates:

  • The statewide travel ban is still in effect.  
  • NECN is reporting that MBTA service will not be restored today. The goal is Monday. (they will be evaluating later today)

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big thanks to our Facebook fans who sent us these measurements an hour ago:

  • Chris Schaffner 4"
  • Ksenia Hill 5.5 inches 

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Logan's last departure is at 3 p.m., closed until Sunday

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Mass Pike tolls closing at 2 p.m.

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Governor Patrick: "I have signed an executive order banning vehicle traffic effective at 4pm today."

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Hearing of a report of an overturned car with entrapment near Rtes. 2 and 111. Acton PD said no comment at this time.

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A note from resident Kimberley Feinstein: For all the town works/plow guys and police on the beat during the storm. I left a $100 at the Acton Dunkin Donuts on Main St. (next to T.C. Landos) to pay for their coffee. Until it runs out! A pre-emptive thank you for what looks to be a couple of longs days for our public works people.

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So, it looks like we could add another foot to the totals:

  • Today Snow. High near 32. East wind 13 to 18 mph, with gusts as high as 33 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. Total daytime snow accumulation of 3 to 7 inches possible.
  • Tonight Snow. The snow could be heavy at times. Low around 22. Windy, with a northeast wind 20 to 26 mph, with gusts as high as 55 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. New snow accumulation of 13 to 19 inches possible.
  • Saturday Snow, mainly before 1pm. The snow could be heavy at times. High near 22. Windy, with a north wind 18 to 28 mph, with gusts as high as 55 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. New snow accumulation of 6 to 10 inches possible.

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Snow Emergency/Parking Ban
The Town of Acton has declared a snow emergency/parking ban, effective Friday, February 8th starting at 12:00 p.m. No on-street parking will be permitted after this time and violators may be ticketed and towed.

The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) believes this will be a major snow event with high winds and heavy snowfall predicted. The ban will be lifted when conditions allow.

Travel
MEMA advises that travel may become nearly impossible with blowing/drifting snow and near zero visibility during the height of the storm (Friday afternoon into Saturday morning). Motorists are asked to stay off the roads if they can during the storm to allow snow plows to clear the roads.

Storm Monitoring
Acton Officials are preparing locally by monitoring the storm and will deploy resources as needed.

Reporting Outages
Report all power outages and downed electrical wires directly to NSTAR:
Call 1-800-592-2000
Report outages online

*Please note that NSTAR is unable to take outage reports from Public Safety officials. Please use the resources above.

Report downed street trees/limbs and electrical wires to the Acton Police Department
Call 978-263-2911

*For your safety, it is imperative that you assume any down wire is a live electrical wire and avoid all contact.


Report service outages to Verizon (Verizon Customers Only)
Call 1-800-VERIZON (1-800-837-4966)
Report Verizon service outages online

Report service outages to Comcast (Comcast Customers Only)
Call 1-800-COMCAST (1-800-266-2278)
Sign up to be notified of outages

Safety and Preparedness
Families are encouraged to develop a ‘Family Emergency Communication Plan’ with an ‘outside the area’ contact to help ensure everyone is safe. Also, develop a Disaster Supply Kit with essentials in case you must evacuate quickly.

Prior to a storm, outdoor objects such as trash barrels, lawn furniture, and other items that can be displaced by high winds should be secured or brought inside.


Connect with Us
Please subscribe to this blog for up-to-date information and consider registering your cell phone and email address with our "Robo-call" system to be notified by phone.

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In recent years, many people have converted their telephone service to voice-over-IP systems (e.g. Verizon Fios, Vonage, etc), or have eliminated traditional land-lines completely, in favor of mobile phones.

With regard to the Town's notification system, this has two important effects:

  1. Newer technologies rely on power supplied at the premise whereas traditional land-lines are powered from the Verizon office. While newer technologies often have batteries to supply power for a period of time, they can only go so long without a recharge.
  2. By default, the contact list used in the Connect-CTY system is the Verizon published land-line list and opt-in contacts. We receive our updates from Verizon, however: unlisted, recently-changed, cellular and VOIP numbers are not included unless the owner has provided it to us

To register your number(s) and e-mail address with us, please visit the Town of Acton web site at http://www.acton-ma.gov/cty

Here, you can register, review and update your contact information. Residents without access to the Internet may accomplish this by calling the Information Technology department at (978) 929-6612 or visiting Town Hall.

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UPDATED: 7:15 P.M.

Gov. Deval Patrick is ordering non-emergency state employees to work from home on Friday because of the approaching snowstorm and urging private employers to do the same.

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UPDATED: 6:55 P.M.

Logan airport will remain open through the snow storm, but all flights will be cancelled starting Friday afternoon. Some airlines may begin operating on Saturday. Please contact your carrier tonight for your flight's status.

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UPDATED: 5:45 P.M.

All Acton schools are closed tomorrow.

#MBTA service suspended on all lines effective 3:30 PM on Friday, Feb. 8th; this includes T and commuter rail and bus, everything.

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WHDH says blizzard warning now in effect.

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MEMA has advised Cities and Towns that from Friday Evening into Saturday Morning expect heavy snow, with blizzard conditions and up to five foot drifts in areas prone to drifting.

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IMPORTANT NUMBERS & WEBSITES: 

ACTON PATCH: Facebook | Twitter | E-mail Updates

Rabies/Dog Licensing Clinic Postponed

Due to the inclement weather predicted for Friday and Saturday, the Town of Acton Rabies/Dog Licensing Clinic being held at Dog Star Activity Center on February 9, 2013 from 2-4pm has been postponed.

A new date is in the works. If you would like further details please contact the Health Department at 978-929-6632.

Winter parking ban reminder

On street parking is prohibited between the hours of 1:00 am and 6:00 am. Vehicles that are illegally parked will be ticketed and towed at the owner's expense if they interfere with snow removal operations.

National Grid offers several steps have already been taken to prepare for the possibility of service interruptions. These include the following:

• Implementing our storm command system to coordinate preparation and restoration efforts throughout the event;
• Contacting our contractors with whom we regularly work for storm support;
• Planning to bring in additional resources and crews as needed;
• Continuous monitoring of the storm, setting up staging areas and positioning our resources to best respond to storm outages;
• Reaching out to state, regional and local officials to inform them of our plans and open the lines of communication;
• Providing routine public updates.

Customers Urged to Keep in Touch

In addition to Outage Central, National Grid offers a number of ways for customers to report outages or learn about restoration efforts and important safety information. Here’s how:
• Outage reporting hotline – Massachusetts and Rhode Island customers can call 1-800-465-1212 to report an outage.
• Text messages – Customers can receive text message alerts and updates through a free service the company offers. Text the word STORM to NGRID (64743) to sign up for the service.
• National Grid uses social media – Facebook and Twitter – to communicate with customers about service issues and interruptions during storms.
• E-mail alerts are also available to customers who create an online profile on the company’s website. All alert services can be started and stopped at the customer’s request.
• Customers can use their mobile devices to track outage information and storm related safety tips through National Grid’s new mobile site that can be accessed at nationalgrid.com.
Staying Safe

National Grid wants everyone to stay safe before, during and after the storm. Here are some tips to help customers avoid injuries and stay safe:

• People who depend on electric-powered life support equipment, such as a respirator, should let National Grid know. To register as a life support customer, call the company’s Customer Service Center at 1-800-322-3223.
• It’s a good idea to have a number of working flashlights, at least one battery-operated radio and an extra supply of batteries in your home. A radio is a good way to stay in touch, as National Grid provides news media with timely information regarding service restoration efforts.
• If you plan to use a generator to supply power during an outage, be sure to only operate it outdoors. Before operating generators, be sure to disconnect from National Grid’s system by shutting off the main breaker located in the electric service panel. Failure to do this could jeopardize crew safety.
• If you lose power, turn off any appliances that were on when the power went off, but leave one light on so you will know when power is restored.
• After the storm, be sure never to touch downed power lines, and always assume that any fallen lines are live electric wires. If you see a downed power line, keep everyone away and call us immediately at 1-800-465-1212.
• Power problems can sometimes interrupt public water supply systems or disable well pumps, so it’s an especially good idea to keep a supply of bottled drinking water handy, as well as some canned food.
• Please leave damaged poles alone. Handling or cutting utility poles—or burning them in your fireplace, woodstove or furnace—potentially exposes you to the chemicals used to treat and preserve these poles.
• Please drive carefully and use caution when driving near any repair crews working to restore power.
• Check on elderly family members, neighbors and others who may need assistance during an outage.

NSTAR: Be ready for power outages

With a major nor’easter expected to impact our area beginning tomorrow, NSTAR will activate its emergency response plan as preparations continue for a significant impact on the electric grid.  The company is advising customers to make advanced preparations as well.  While no utility can prevent widespread power outages in the face of devastating storms, NSTAR is on high alert and workers are prepared to mobilize.

“We’re well into our preparations for responding to potentially widespread power outages resulting from the nor’easter’s high winds and heavy snow,” said Craig Hallstrom, President of NSTAR Electric.  “We prepare year-round for storms like this and stand ready to address damage to our system as soon as it becomes safe to do so.”

As all 3,000 NSTAR employees prepare to assist in the storm response effort, the company has also secured additional contractor line and tree crews to join forces with its own workers.  In anticipation of high snowfall amounts and whiteout driving conditions, NSTAR will pre-position workers across its service area in advance of the storm, including on Cape Cod and Martha’s Vineyard where travel may become impossible due to the potential for bridge closures and ferry service interruption.  With safety a top priority, crews will respond to calls as weather conditions allow.

Customers can prepare for storm damage and power outages by assembling a storm kit in advance and making arrangements to protect themselves and their families.  Some suggestions for items to include in a storm kit are:

  • Flashlights with spare batteries
  • A battery-operated radio or TV
  • First-aid kit and medications
  • Canned, freeze-dried or dehydrated foods
  • A manual can opener
  • Bottled water
  • Baby or pet supplies
  • Important phone numbers

Customers dependent on electricity for critical medical needs are urged to make preparations now to switch to a backup source or move to an alternate location if necessary.  NSTAR also reminds all customers that, while back-up emergency generators can be very useful during power outages, it’s crucial to personal safety and the safety of others, including NSTAR line crews, that they be installed and operated properly.

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