"Storm barrels down on region" by John R. Ellement, Peter Schworm, Michael Levenson and Martin Finucane | Globe Staff, February 08, 2013
Governor Deval Patrick declared a state of emergency and banned cars from the road this afternoon as Massachusetts braces for a potentially historic blizzard that could blanket the state with more than 2 feet of snow, whip up winds to 70 miles per hour, and batter the coast with giant waves.
Patrick announced the vehicle ban, which will go into effect at 4 p.m., at a news conference at the state’s emergency bunker in Framingham. The state will lift all tolls on the Massachusetts Turnpike as of 2 p.m....
Are all businesses closing beforehand?
National Weather Service meteorologist Bill Simpson said 18 to 24 inches of snow are expected in most areas of the state. Isolated areas could get more, he said. A weather service forecast discussion said some areas could get up to 30 inches, which was down slightly from earlier predictions that the state could see up to 3 feet....
Yeah, they are already starting to backtrack on the amounts out here.
Kurt Schwartz, director of the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency, said at the news conference that the travel ban applies to all roads in the state, but there are various exceptions, such as for public safety, media, and vehicles supplying esssential businesses like convenience stores and hardware stores. Violating the travel ban, he said, could incur a penalty of a year in jail and a $500 fine....
I wasn't going out anyway, but what if there is an emergency?
Look, I'm not advocating anyone go out in a blizzard. I just object to making it a crime, but as someone once said "Everything is illegal in Massachusetts." I wonder how many tax dollars he collected for making it here.
NEXT DAY UPDATE:
"Travel ban surprises many, pleases some" by Maria Sacchetti | Globe Staff, February 09, 2013
.... Others were skeptical Friday that police mired in disaster response could handle the unexpected task of pulling over motorists during the storm.
Evan Kenney, a Fitchburg State freshman from Wakefield, said it was “tyrannical” of the governor to impose an order that would distract busy police officers. Kenney said he planned to stay inside and didn’t need a tough order to do so.
“Like a year in prison?” said Kenney, a 19-year-old self-described Libertarian-Republican majoring in film and video production. “Police departments don’t need to deal with this nonsense. Why is the governor wasting their time when they need to be worried about real issues like the safety of residents in their town?”
Many police officers learned of the order Friday morning and were unsure how to enforce it, since they hadn’t done something like that in recent memory. Most were already worried about fighting crime and responding to storm-related emergencies.
“In this case I can almost guarantee that we won’t use it at all,” said Chelsea Police Chief Brian Kyes, who said he sent police officers a memo urging them to use the executive order as a way to warn drivers to get off the roads. “I don’t want to spring this on officers at the last minute.”
Framingham Police Chief Steven Carl said it would be dangerous for police to pull over drivers in blizzard conditions to check whether they were authorized to travel. Instead, he said, he instructed his officers to focus on emergencies, such as the sick, the elderly, and downed power lines.
“We have our hands full,” Carl said. “We can’t get involved in stopping people for driving down the road.”
In other words, it was all an empty threat. Why didn't the good guv just ask and plead instead?
Domino’s Pizza in Charlestown had planned a busy night delivering hot pies to snowbound families. But when the governor’s edict hit the news, they closed the doors with the phones still ringing.
“We’re actually shutting down right now,” said Mike, the shop manager who declined to give his last name, as he prepared to close the doors just after 2 p.m. after making one last pepperoni pizza. “When it snows like this, it’s our busy time. We just have to start turning people down. I have four lines ringing right now.”
Thanks for hurting the economy, guv.
They are lifting the thing at 4 p.m. today, yay.
Word is at least 6 dead due to the storm (frown).