Coastal Massachusetts is expected to receive the brunt of tonight’s nor’easter, which is expected to generate blizzard conditions, trigger flooding and shroud the region in near-zero visibility due to wind gusts as high as 50 miles per hour, forecasters say.
Unlike the rest of the region, whose snowfall should top off at 12 inches, some areas of the Bay State coast are expected to get 14 inches of snow or more by Friday morning. Many coastal towns and counties have issued winter storm warnings and are taking various precautions to help their residents survive the storm.
“We’re getting shelters open and we’ve borrowed four wheel drives from the Department of Public Resources so we can get around,” said Barnstable Police Sergeant Sean Sweeney, whose town on Cape Cod is expected to receive some of the highest snowfall.
Plymouth Police Captain John Rogers said his town’s new emergency operations center in Cedarville is open and ready. He said his department is preparing for tidal surges that may overwhelm coastal roads in the South Shore town.
“We’re worried that Route 3A could be blocked,” he said. “These storms bring a lot of water and it could breach the seawall down there.”
According to a statement from the town of Scituate, with the exception of emergency workers, no travel or access to other coastal areas during the storm will be permitted.
Out on the Cape, Truro is readying a warming station at the Public Safety complex, according to Police Chief Kyle Takakjian Residents who lose power can keep warm and charge electronic equipment, he said. Truro, along with Wellfleet and Falmouth, has pre-treated roads with ice and sand, according to police.
In Marshfield, where some coastal neighborhoods were hammered by previous storms, storm preparation has long been underway. “Extra staff was brought in for the fire and police department and the Department of Public Works,” said Lietenant Paul Taber. The Marshfield Council on Aging will also open a warming center at 10 a.m. Friday.