Less than four months after Hurricane Sandy, the East Coast is making preparations for another epic showing from Mother Nature. Winter storm Nemo is expected to roll across New England Friday night and most of Saturday, dumping up to two feet of snow in some areas. There are also warnings of possible coastal flooding, as Nemo will hit some states at high tide.
After learning lessons from recent storms, states are not taking any chances in their disaster preparedness. Residents began to stock up on necessary supplies on Thursday night. Salem, Massachusetts had to call in their local fire department to assist in an overcrowded Market Basket, according to the Boston Globe.
“We haven’t had a snowstorm of this size in many years,” Boston Mayor Thomas Menino, told the Globe. “We are hardy New Englanders used to these storms, but we want people to use common sense and stay off the streets.”
Menino added that by dawn on Friday 200 plows and salt spreaders would be crisscrossing roads in Boston and by 9 a.m., officials planned to increase the number of plows and salt spreaders to 600.
Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy issued similar continuity of operations planning, urging non-essential state workers to stay home on Friday, according to the Associated Press. Malloy added that utility companies expect 10 percent of their customers to lose power from the storm.
Much of New England is under a blizzard warning from the National Weather Service. Tom Hawley, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Gray, Maine, said that the highest amounts of snow will be in the southwestern areas – anywhere from one to two feet.
Preparation and erring on the side of caution can be crucial when such dramatic outcomes are being predicted. When towns have comprehensive risk analyses and continuity of operations plans in place, recovery can be much quicker.