Michael Dutton, Town Manager
66 Central Square
Bridgewater, MA 02324
For Immediate Release
Wednesday, Jan. 3, 2018
Media Contact: John Guilfoil
Town of Bridgewater Provides Pre-Storm Update, Urges Caution
BRIDGEWATER — Town Manager Michael Dutton wishes to provide residents with critical updates ahead of tomorrow’s winter storm, which expected to bring significant and prolonged snowfall, high winds causing whiteout conditions and frigid temperatures in the days that follow.
A blizzard warning and hazardous weather outlook is in effect for Bridgewater as of 5:30 p.m., Wednesday, according to the National Weather Service (NWS). The storm is expected to begin before dawn Thursday and end sometime Thursday evening.
As a result of the storm, town offices and all Bridgewater Public Schools will be closed on Jan. 4. As of Wednesday evening, the town is not planning to open any warming shelters unless the area experiences widespread, prolonged power outages. If the need to open a shelter arises, town leaders will notify residents.
“Our emergency leaders are working continuously to ensure that we are fully prepared to handle this storm and get through it as smoothly as possible,” Town Manager Dutton said. “I want to encourage residents to remember that our public safety agencies will be extraordinarily busy throughout the storm, and urge everyone to help their neighbors if they’re in need of simple assistance.”
Residents should not hesitate to call 911 if a situation requiring a police, fire or emergency medical response arises.
The following is what NWS is anticipating for Bridgewater during and after the snowstorm:
- Snow could fall at a rate of three inches per hour during morning commuting hours.
- The region could see as much as 15 inches of snow.
- Wind gusts may reach as high as 49 mph and carry with it a windchill factor of 3 below zero.
- Driving conditions will likely be very poor. Significant reductions in visibility are possible with near white-out conditions for a time Thursday. Residents are asked to avoid driving unless absolutely neccessary.
- Damage to trees and power lines is possible. Power outages may occur.
- Friday will likely see a high temperature of 13 degrees and a low of 4 below zero. Saturday could be even colder with a high of 6 degrees and low of 13 below zero.
WEATHERING THE STORM
- The police and fire stations will be open throughout the storm. If you have an emergency, call 911.
- Avoid driving unless absolutely necessary. Give plow and sand/salt trucks the space they need to operate.
- Fully charge your cell phone, laptop and any other devices before the storm.
- If you lose power during the storm, National Grid offers an outage map. To report the loss of electricity, call 800-592-2000 .
- If you believe there is a gas leak in your home or nearby, call 911.
- Anyone with a disability or medical issue is encouraged to call Bridgewater Police ahead of time to request a well-being check during the storm.
COLD CONTINUES ON
With this type of weather, frostbite and hypothermia are possible for those without proper protection from the cold. To stay safe, the Bridgewater police and fire departments ask that residents follow these tips from the MEMA:
- Minimize outdoor activities for the whole family, including pets.
- If outside, dress in several layers of loose-fitting, lightweight clothing instead of a single heavy layer. Outer garments should be tightly woven and water repellent. Wear a hat, mittens (not gloves) and sturdy waterproof boots to protect your extremities. Cover your mouth with a scarf to protect your lungs.
- Be a good neighbor. Check with elderly or disabled relatives and neighbors to ensure their safety.
- When utilizing alternate heating sources, such as an emergency generator, your fireplace, wood stove, coal stove or space heater, make sure they are properly ventilated and always operate a generator outdoors and away from your home. Improper heating devices can lead to dangerous carbon monoxide buildup in the home.
- If you turn on a faucet and only a trickle comes out, suspect a frozen pipe. Locate the area of the water pipe that might be frozen. Likely places include pipes running against exterior walls or where your water service enters your home through the foundation.
- Apply heat to the section of pipe using an electric heating pad wrapped around the pipe, an electric hair dryer, or wrapping pipes with towels soaked in hot water.
- Do not use a blowtorch, kerosene or propane heater, charcoal stove, or other open flame devices. A blowtorch can make water in a frozen pipe boil and cause the pipe to explode. All open flames in homes present a serious fire danger, as well as a severe risk of exposure to lethal carbon monoxide.