Winter storm Nemo attacked New England over the weekend, with some areas getting close to three feet of snow. President Barack Obama declared States of Emergency for Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York and Rhode Island. Thousands of residents and businesses across the Eastern Seaboard are still without power and areas are trying to return back to normal operations.
Without comprehensive continuity of operations planning though, the cleanup process could be much more difficult. For example, on Friday, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick declared a statewide driving ban, barring Bay Staters from all roads starting at 4 p.m. The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) also shut down service at 3:30, forcing residents to remain inside and off the streets.
Public transit resumed limited service on Sunday afternoon, much to the dismay of many individuals. State Representative Jeffrey Sanchez told the Boston Globe that he received many complaints from residents, who had difficulty getting to work without the MBTA, as many do not have cars. Sanchez added that he was especially concerned about healthcare workers, as some had to extend their shifts because their relief could not get to the hospitals.
In New York, officials closed the Long Island Expressway, so road crews could begin working on clearing snow and abandoned cars. However, the New York Times reported that this caused many semi trucks onto local roads, where many became stuck, blocking plows and causing cars behind them to stall.
“The state will continue to do everything possible to augment existing recovery work, and will ensure that residents of Suffolk County can go back to life as normal as quickly as possible,” Governor Andrew Cuomo told the news source.
Even with many residents questioning the continuity of operations plan, safety is of the utmost importance during severe storms like Nemo. When federal and local officials have a comprehensive preparation plan, the recovery process can be much smoother.