With as many as two feet of snow headed to Braintree and much of New England Friday and Saturday, local officials are planning ahead.
Mayor Joseph Sullivan said he will meet Thursday afternoon with his department heads to make preparations. The Braintree Electric Light Department has already made plans for extra manpower, and may increase the number depending on forecasts Friday morning, GM Bill Bottiggi said.
Bottiggi added that even if snowfall predictions come out on the low end Friday, BELD will need the extra personnel to battle potential outages associated with high winds.
The National Weather Service, in a Blizzard Watch issued Wednesday, said to expect 25 to 25 mph winds with gusts up to 55 mph and poor visibility. The agency urges residents to be prepared to alter travel plans.
Light snow is expected to begin by Friday morning and increase in intensity throughout the day with the heaviest snowfall occurring Friday night into Saturday morning. Snowfall rates of 2 to 3 inches per hour are possible during that time.
On Thursday morning, the weather service also issued a coastal flood warning for Braintree and nearby communities. From the statement:
"A NUMBER OF SHORE ROADS COULD BECOME IMPASSABLE FOR A TIME FRIDAY EVENING. COASTAL FLOODING AROUND THE SATURDAY MORNING HIGH TIDE COULD CAUSE NUMEROUS SHORE ROADS TO BECOME IMPASSABLE AND EVEN PUT SOME STRUCTURES AT RISK ALONG THE IMMEDIATE SHORE. IN ADDITION SEVERE BEACH EROSION MAY OCCUR DURING THE FRIDAY EVENING AND SATURDAY MORNING HIGH TIDES."
In addition to following Braintree Patch (check us out on Twitter and Facebook and sign up for our newsletter) for updates on outages, school closings and more, there are a number of emergency sources associated with the town.
On Twitter, follow the Braintree Police Department (https://twitter.com/BraintreePolice), the Braintree Emergency Management Agency (https://twitter.com/bema01) and BELD (https://twitter.com/BELDElectric).
BEMA can also be reached at 781-794-8188. Winter storm tips can be found via a link on the website of Braintree's highway division: http://www.braintreema.gov/highway/index.html.