Governor of Massachusetts Deval Patrick has declared a state of emergency for blizzard that could bring near three feet of snow and has announced an executive order issuing a travel ban for the state.
Governor Patrick says the ban on motor vehicle travel will begin at 4 p.m. Friday and continue until further notice. This travel ban shall not apply to the following:
- Public safety vehicles and public safety workers, including contract personnel
- Public works vehicles and public works workers, including contract personnel; government officials conducting official business
- Utility company vehicles and utility workers
- Healthcare workers who must travel to and from work in order to provide essential health services
- News media
- Travel necessary to maintain and deliver critical private sector services such as energy, fuel supplies and delivery, financial systems and the delivery of critical commodities
- Travel to support business operations that provide critical services to the public, including gasoline stations, food stores and hardware stores
This is believed to be the state's first such ban since the blizzard of 1978.
Kurt Schwartz, director of the MEMA, says that
the travel ban applies to all roads in the state, but there are various
exceptions, such as for public safety, media, and vehicles supplying essential
businesses like convenience stores and hardware stores.
Violating the travel ban, he said, could
incur a PENALTY of a year in jail and a $500 fine. Mayor Richard
Alcombright stated that police will be monitoring
traffic but certainly understand that there will be people coming home from
work or other activities.