For Immediate Release - February 18, 2014

CAUTION URGED ON ROADWAYS DURING WINTER STORM THIS AFTERNOON

The National Weather Service has informed state public safety officials that today’s snow storm will bring snowfall to most of the state between the hours of 1:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m.  Snowfall rates could reach up to 1 inch per hour in some regions of the state.  According to the National Weather Service, heavy snow will subside in Boston and the surrounding communities between 5:00 p.m and 6:00 p.m. The Massachusetts Department of Transportation is confident that they will be able to keep up with the snowfall and keep roads clear for the evening commute.  However, the commute will be slow and people should exercise patience and caution on the roadways.  Individuals should use public transportation, where possible, and also consider delaying their commute home by one or two hours, if possible, until heavy snowfall has subsided.   The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency is encouraging all commuters to use caution while driving and to maintain a safe distance from snow removal equipment on roadways to ensure everyone’s safety.   For up to date forecast information, visit www.weather.gov/boston and www.weather.gov/albany.

MEMA is the state agency charged with ensuring the state is prepared to withstand, respond to, and recover from all types of emergencies and disasters, including natural hazards, accidents, deliberate attacks, and technological and infrastructure failures. MEMA's staff of professional planners, communications specialists and operations and support personnel is committed to an all hazards approach to emergency management. By building and sustaining effective partnerships with federal, state and local government agencies, and with the private sector - individuals, families, non-profits and businesses - MEMA ensures the Commonwealth's ability to rapidly recover from large and small disasters by assessing and mitigating threats and hazards, enhancing preparedness, ensuring effective response, and strengthening our capacity to rebuild and recover. For additional information about MEMA and Winter Preparedness, go to www.mass.gov/mema. Continue to follow MEMA updates on Twitter at www.twitter.com/MassEMA; Facebook at www.facebook.com/MassachusettsEMA; and YouTube at www.youtube.com/MassachusettsEMA. Download the free ping4alert! app to your Smartphone to receive important weather alerts and messages from MEMA.  Easy instructions are available at www.mass.gov/mema/mobileapp.