Wareham officials prepare for 'cold weather hurricane'

Blizzard warning issued for Thursday
Jan 3, 2018

Wareham public safety officials are gearing up for a major storm forecasted to bring high winds, heavy snow and poor driving conditions on Thursday.

“We’re likely going to focus on downed power lines and lots of trees down,” said Onset Fire Chief Ray Goodwin. “We’re going to have high winds regardless. It’s going to be kind of like a cold weather hurricane.”

A blizzard warning for the region is in effect from 7 a.m. Thursday to 1 a.m. Friday. Blizzard conditions include snow or blowing snow with winds higher than 35 mph and visibility of one-quarter of a mile or less for at least three consecutive hours.

The forecast currently calls for 7 to 10 inches of snow accumulation with wind gusts as high as 60 to 70 mph. Goodwin said local officials met Wednesday afternoon in preparation of the storm and to review emergency preparedness plans.

In the Onset Fire Department, Goodwin said that his pre-storm checklist was in order. Additional firefighters will be on call starting at 8 a.m. Thursday, extra fuel had been ordered and equipment checks were completed.

With a some time left before the storm hits, Goodwin advised making sure all smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detectors were working properly. With loss of power likely, he warned those with gas-powered generators to never operate them inside a closed space, such as a garage or basement.

“Usually, it has tragic consequences,” he said.

Without proper ventilation, carbon monoxide levels will build up to dangerous levels, he said.

Goodwin advised residents to stay off the roads tomorrow, too.

“Definitely avoid traveling if at all possible,” he said.

For those staying in, Eversource recommends having a supply of nonperishable food and water on hand in addition to flashlights, spare batteries and a first aid kit.

When the storm hits, Eversource customers are asked to report a power outage by calling 800-592-2000. The report line is staffed 24/7 during an emergency.

Any school, municipal and community closings will be reported as they are announced on WarehamVillageSoup.com.