Massachusetts Prepares for Sandy
In Massachusetts people are preparing themselves for the storm by making sure they have the necessary emergency supplies. Bart Raser, Owner of Carr Hardware, which has locations throughout Berkshire County, says it’s a busy week with customers stopping in to pick anything they’ll need for Sandy’s arrival.
Raser said during last year’s October snowstorm, people from Vermont, Connecticut, and areas of Massachusetts further East were driving to Berkshire County to pick up generators, as the route 7 corridor was one of the few areas that had power. Raser did caution that anyone using a generator this year should be careful.
Peter Judge, Public Information Officer for the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency, said that because the path of the hurricane is still uncertain, MEMA is speaking with local emergency management agencies across the Commonwealth to ensure that they’re prepared.
The Massachusetts Department of Transportation is preparing as well, making sure their crews are supplied with enough gasoline and chainsaws to remove fallen trees, making sure catch-basins are emptied to prevent flooding. Spokesman Michael Verseckes said MassDOT is preparing across the state, but is keeping an eye on more rural areas.
In the aftermath of last year’s Hurricane Irene and October snowstorm, local utilities including Northeast Utilities which operates Connecticut Light & Power and Western Mass Electric Company have been criticized on their response. Governor Deval Patrick and US Senator Scott Brown recently sent letters asking utilities to be prepared.
Vice President of Customer Relations for WMECO Bob Coates says that crews from WMECO and the Northeast Utilities family have been on alert and are prepared. Coates said that NU is also working with the other utilities in the region. Today he said WMECO is notifying communities with residents on life-support and warns that the storm could still result in long service outages.