NEW: Worcester Issues Important Winter Storm Updates
Thursday, February 13, 2014
Tonight will bring a mix of light freezing rain after 6:00 p.m., with an expected transition back to snow and sleet continuing into early morning.
Worcester issued a Winter Parking Ban that went into effect as of 6:00 a.m. on Thursday, meaning that all parking is prohibited on either side of the main streets, but routes and Downtown streets. Parking is allowed only on the odd numbered side of all the other streets unless otherwise posted. Illegally parked vehicles are the biggest obstacle to effective snow removal efforts. Vehicles that violate the winter parking ban or otherwise hinder snow removal will be ticketed and towed at the owner’s expense.
The DPW&P commenced plowing operations at 11:00 a.m. Thursday afternoon, dispatching over 370 pieces of Departmental and contracted pieces of snow removal equipment to treat the streets. Its personnel, resources and equipment will be mobilized as required throughout the storm and its aftermath to keep all roads safe and passable.
Customer Service, Police, Fire, and EMS have had low call volume and no storm related emergencies at this point in time.
Important Phone Numbers:
Emergency Calls 9-1-1: The Emergency 911 Communications, the Worcester Police Department and the Worcester Fire Department will prioritize and will respond to all emergency calls. It is imperative the 911 system is utilized for emergency calls only.
DPW Customer Service Center 508-929-1300: Residents should call this number to report down trees, loss of heat, tree limbs, blocked roadways or other City related storm issues. Citizens should report all trees and limbs down, including those with entangled overhead wires. National Grid should also be notified of all downed wires (see below).
National Grid: The 24-hour Customer Service Line is 1-800-465-1212 for all power outages. All downed wires should be reported to National Grid. Some of these wires may be telephone or cable wires BUT all downed wires should be considered dangerous and NOT handled in any way. Everyone should be kept clear of the downed wires. Information as to National Grid repairs and restoration timelines should be directed to NGrid’s customer service personnel.
The WRTA is currently operating on Snow Routes.
Storm Preparedness and Storm Response Tips:
- If your water supply could be affected by a power outage (a well-water pump system), fill your bathtub and spare containers with water. Water in the bathtub should be used for sanitation purposes only, not as drinking water. A pail of water from the tub poured directly into the bowl can flush a toilet.
- Set your refrigerator and freezer to their coldest settings (remember to reset them back to normal once power is restored). During an outage, do not open the refrigerator or freezer door unnecessarily. Food can stay cold in a full refrigerator for up to 24 hours and in a well-packed freezer for 48 hours (24 hours if it is half-packed).
- If you have medication that requires refrigeration, check with your pharmacist for guidance on proper storage during an extended outage.
- Follow the manufacturer’s instructions and guidelines when using a generator. Always use outdoors, away from windows and doors. Carbon Monoxide (CO) fumes are odorless and can quickly accumulate indoors. Never try to power the house wiring by plugging the generator directly into household wiring, a practice known as “backfeeding.” This is extremely dangerous and presents an electrocution risk to utility workers and neighbors served by the same utility transformer. It also bypasses some of the built-in household circuit protection devices.
- Clear all home exhaust vents (dryer, furnace, etc.) of snow to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning.
- Please assist and drag brush and limbs on our roadways that can be moved by hand to the nearest tree belts to allow for movement of vehicles.
- Please clear snow away from hydrants near or in front of your home to assist our Fire Department and your neighborhood.
- The City’s Sidewalk Snow Removal Ordinance is in place to keep our City-wide sidewalks passable and keep pedestrians safely out of the roadway. The Ordinance requires all sidewalks to be cleared 4’ wide and to be passable 10 hours after the snow ceases to fall.
- Remember to pace yourself when conducting snow removal at home or at your business. This is physical and exhausting work. Please be sure to hydrate throughout the effort and rest as appropriate. Major snowstorms can peak emergency room visits for injuries related to snow removal. Be careful.
- Please check on elderly neighbors and others in need.
- Please be sure to exercise caution when clearing blockages or debris from power snow blowing equipment. Disconnect power cords, turn off switch, turn off keys and remove, disconnect spark plugs and use a wooden handle or pole to free up tillers.
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