NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Local News

February 8, 2013

Last-minute preps before snow falls

(Continued)

Starkey said all snow removal and emergency equipment is getting checked and double checked and he’s brought in more salt, due to the expectation that a rain and sleet storm could follow on the heels of today’s blizzard.

“That’s because nothing good ever comes from rain in February,” Starkey said.

Starkey said the Public Works Department is also working with local police to clear the roads of cars and other items left on the roadways that could impede the plowing. Those who leave their cars parked along the roadways may find them towed, he added.

Seabrook Emergency Management director and Interim Town Manager Joe Titone said yesterday’s conference call with state emergency officials went well, with Gov. Maggie Hassan promising to support local communities during the storm.

The town is taking all the pre-storm precautions it usually does, said Titone, and warning residents along the beach that state officials have instituted a “flood watch” along the coast, with very high tides and almost hurricane-force winds off- shore that will stir up the sea and 10- to 20-foot waves.

Opening the Recreation Center as a shelter is a possibility if major power losses occur, he said.

Salisbury Emergency Management director Bob Cook said the town is preparing for not only high tides but lost power.

“We’re pretty certain we will be opening up the Hilton Center as a warming center for those people who lose their power and their heat,” Cook said.

Cook said last night the town used its Code Red telephone alert system to stress the winter parking ban on roadways and to urge residents to stay home and off the roads if they can.

Cook is worried about flooding at both tonight’s high tide and tomorrow morning’s, which could flood roads and homes, as well as cause erosion on the beach.

“Saturday morning’s (10 a.m.) tide is an astronomical high tide and they’re expecting a 2- to 3-foot storm surge on top of that,” Cook said. “I’m very worried about that.”

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