MASSACHUSETTS EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY
State Emergency Operations Center
March 26, 2014 Winter Storm
Situation Report # 1
Issued 03/26/2014 at 0745
Operational Period: 03/26/2014 0600 TO 03/26/2014 1700
Activation Level 2 (Partial)
For additional information regarding this situation report, contact Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) by phone at (508) 820-2000(508) 820-2000/ (800) 982-6846(800) 982-6846. Situation Reports will be updated once per operational period.
A powerful winter storm is impacting the region through the morning, pulling east gradually through the afternoon. Heavy snow and strong damaging northerly winds, creating blizzard conditions, are expected across Cape Cod and the Islands, with lesser impacts north and west of the Cape Cod Canal. A very tight snow gradient is expected with lighter snow and wind gusts expected from the Boston to Providence corridor. The morning commute will be especially impacted on the Cape and Islands with near-zero visibility due to snow and strong winds.
Hazards associated with this storm include significant amounts of snowfall across Cape Cod and the Islands, high winds, and moderate coastal flooding and splash over for north and east facing Cape and Nantucket shorelines. In addition, this will be a dangerous storm for mariners, hurricane force wind gusts exceeding 64 knots and seas 20-25 feet for waters east and southeast of Cape Cod and Nantucket are expected.
SEOC Activation Level
The State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) in Framingham transitioned to a Level 2 (Partial) Activation as of 6:00 am this morning. In addition, MEMA staff from Region II are present in the Barnstable County MACC in support of local communities.
Local EOC Activations
As of 7:00 AM, the following local have activated their Emergency Operations Center (EOC):
· Barnstable County (MACC)
The operational objectives/priorities for the SEOC are as follows:
· Monitor incident impacts, including roadway conditions, wind impacts, and coastal flooding.
· As necessary, support local communities with incident response.
· Track and report power outage information and open shelter status and populations.
Watches and Warnings
The National Weather Service (NWS) has issued the following watches, warnings and advisories for Massachusetts:
· A Blizzard Warning is in effect for the Cape and Islands through 2 PM with 5 to 10” of snow expected (highest amounts on the outer Cape and Islands) and wind gusts to 70 MPH.
· A Hurricane Force Wind Warning is in effect through 2 PM for Southeastern New England Outer Waters.
· A Winter Weather Advisory is in effect for Southeastern Massachusetts (Plymouth and Bristol Counties) through 2 PM.
· A High Wind Warning is in effect through 8 PM for Southeastern Massachusetts, Cape Cod and the Islands through 8 PM with a Wind Advisory in effect for the remainder of Southern New England.
· A Storm Warning is in effect through 2 PM for Massachusetts Bay, Cape Cod Bay, Nantucket Sound, Buzzards Bay, and Vineyard Sound.
· A Gale Warning is in effect for Boston Harbor and Narragansett Bay through 2 PM
· Snowfall will be intense in areas of Cape Cod and the Islands through the morning commute and into mid-day. 5 to 10 inches total are expected.
· Snow will taper off west to east and ending by 4 PM.
Potential Snowfall Totals
· 5” to 10” across Cape Cod and the Islands
· 2” to 4” across Southeastern Massachusetts (Bristol and Plymouth Counties)
· Less than 1” to 2” along the Boston to Providence Corridor
Current Snowfall Totals
As of 7:00 AM, Skywarn reported the following snowfall totals:
Harwichport, MA: 2.0″
Eastham, MA: 1.0″
Nantucket, MA: 3.0″
West Tisbury, MA: 1.3″
Waquoit, MA: 1.0″
Wellfleet, MA: 0.8″
East Falmouth, MA: 0.5″
Centerville, MA: 0.5″
Acushnet, MA: Dusting
Fairhaven, MA: Dusting
New Bedford, MA: Dusting
West Falmouth, MA: Dusting
· Cape Cod and the Islands: Strong to damaging winds through 8PM are expected with Northerly Winds 30 to 40 MPH gusting to 70 MPH. Worst conditions expected across the outer Cape and Nantucket with the potential for brief gusts to Hurricane Force.
· Remainder of Southern New England: Winds North to Northwest 20 to 30 MPH with gusts to 40 to 55 MPH.
· High Tide this morning between 8 and 9 AM
· Cape Cod & Nantucket (especially the north-shores): minor to moderate coastal flooding with a storm surge of 2.5 to 3.0 feet with waves of 20 to 25 feet possible. A number of vulnerable shore-roads including several about the Nantucket harbor area will be subject to flooding. Significant erosion is also likely along the Cape Cod Bay and ocean sides of Cape Cod and the east side of Nantucket.
· Eastern Massachusetts (south of Boston and Martha’s Vineyard): minor coastal flooding is likely with isolated pockets of moderate coastal flooding between Hull and Plymouth, MA. Flooding of especially vulnerable shore-roads may cause brief closures around the time of high tide. Some erosion is also possible to shorelines exposed to high-wave activity.
Other Weather Related Concerns:
· Blowing and drifting snow may cause poor roadway visibility of ½ to ¼ of a mile.
OPERATIONAL SUPPORT ACTIVITIES
· None at this time
The following Emergency Support Functions (ESFs) are activated at the SEOC:
· MAESF 1(Transportation): Mass Department of Transportation
· MAESF-12 (Energy): Department of Public Utilities
· MAESF-13 (Public Safety and Security): Massachusetts State Police
· None to Report at this Time
As of 7 AM, MAESF 12 reports the following power outages throughout MA:
· National Grid: 263
· NSTAR: 5
· WMECO: 20
· Unitil: 0
Total outage numbers: 288
MassDOT reports the following statewide district conditions and impacts:
· Districts 3 through 6 (Central and Eastern) have activated their snow desks are in Snow & Ice Operations.
· District 1 and District 2 (Western Massachusetts) are at normal operations.
· Air and pavement temperatures are below freezing across the state.
· 475 Pieces of equipment and 381 MassDOT employees deployed.
Transit: General Conditions and Impacts:
· Martha’s Vineyard RTA reports that the Park and Ride (Route 10) will not operate today.
· The Steamship Authority has temporarily suspended ferry service for the Islands of Martha’s Vuneyard and Nantucket. Service will resume when sea conditions improve.
Aviation: General Conditions and Impacts:
· Boston Logan International Airport reporting no significant delays at this time. MassPort requests passengers scheduled to fly out of Logan today should contact their airline before leaving for the airport.
Safety and Security
MA State Police (MSP)reports the following:
· State Police Troop “D” in Middleboro/Southeastern Massachusetts is the only region experiencing any storm conditions at this time. The Troop is reporting minor snow accumulation across the Troop.
· No significant roadway impacts reported as of 7:30 AM.
· Heavy winds being experienced throughout the areas.
MEMA’s Public Information Office reports no updates for this morning. Power outage safety tips have been posted to MEMA’s website.
· MEMA: www.mass.gov/mema
· National Weather Service Taunton: www.weather.gov/boston
· National Weather Service Albany: www.weather.gov/albany
To receive emergency notifications and information from the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency and the National Weather Service on your Android or iPhone, download MEMA’s emergency alerting app Ping4Alerts!. For further information and detailed download instructions, visit www.mass.gov/mema/mobileapp.