As Hurricane Sandy approaches Massachusetts, Governor Deval Patrick and other state officials held an announcement this afternoon to update the public on how the Commonwealth will work to help handle recovery and response during the storm. WAMC’s Berkshire Bureau Chief Lucas Willard reports…
Today Governor Patrick and members of his cabinet spoke about the preparations Massachusetts is making ahead of Hurricane Sandy. In his remarks, the Governor advised state residents to stock up on the necessary supplies including batteries, fresh water, food, first aid kits, cash and gasoline. He urged people to check on their neighbors, and also urged residents follow common-sense safety tips.
But the Governor also mentioned his watch he and his cabinet are keeping on the utility companies. In talking about utilities’ response in outages caused by last year’s October snowstorm and Tropical Storm Irene, Governor Patrick outlined some of his frustrations.
Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs Rick Sullivan assured that the Department of Public Utilities has been communicating closely with utility companies and that they are under a high expectation for this storm. Sullivan announced that the utilities are placing liaisons in every community to have more direct communication with state residents.
Secretary Sullivan did say that the utilities have provided state authorities with detailed lists of high-importance areas such as nursing homes, and hospitals.
The Massachusetts Department of Transportation is also making sure it’s highway crews are ready. Currently, MassDOT is inspecting and preparing its equipment, reaching out to emergency contractors, and clearing roadside ditches and catch basins. Secretary of Transportation Richard Davey.
Davey also said that the MBTA is preparing for the storm and will make efforts to prevent disruptions in service.
The Officials also discussed how the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency is monitoring the storm and working with local municipalities. Peter Judge, Public Information Officer for MEMA said their preparatory work is ongoing.