February 7, 2013, Mayor Domenic J. Sarno met with his Emergency Preparedness team this morning to discuss steps the City of Springfield will be taking in preparation for Winter Storm NEMO. Mayor Sarno received a weather update indicating that Springfield may receive between 12-24 inches of snow as well as potential high winds. This will be a long duration event beginning early Friday morning and lasting until Saturday afternoon.
Friday morning will be complicated by the initial snowfall and driving will become treacherous in time for the evening commute. Please note that due to the rate of snowfall, it will be difficult for DPW to keep streets clear and safe. At times, snow is expected to fall 2-3 inches per hour. The plowing operation will not be completed until early Sunday morning, it is strongly requested that residents exercise patience and keep vehicles off the streets; Mayor Sarno also suggested that businesses take caution and to consider early dismissal.
The following action steps have been proactively put into place:
Parking Ban - A City-wide parking ban will go into effect at 9:00 AM Friday morning. Parking will not be permitted on the Odd side of the street from 9:00 AM until 4:00 PM and No Parking on the Even side from 7:00 PM until 7:00 AM. The ban will be enforced through ticketing and towing. The Ban will be in effect until further notice.
The Department of Public Works and the Springfield Fire Department are strongly encouraging residents to keep cars off the road so the streets may be cleared and for emergency vehicles to pass as needed.
Parking considerations: The Springfield Parking Authority will allow parking in the Civic Center Garage off Harrison Avenue for the duration of the storm. The cost is $2 every 12 hours.
Springfield Public Schools - Springfield Public Schools have cancelled classes for Friday, February 8, 2013. The Central Office will be closing at 12:00 PM.
Springfield City Hall - City Hall will be closing at 12:00 P.M. for non-emergency personnel
3-1-1 Call Center - The City’s 3-1-1 Call Center will be open Friday until 2:00 P.M. The city of Springfield's 311 call center will not open as planned Saturday afternoon. Due to the magnitude of Winter Storm Nemo the 311 Call Center will remain closed until conditions permit opening. Any callers who leave a voicemail outside of business hours will be responded to. The call center can be reached from a landline by calling 3-1-1, or from outside of Springfield or via cell phone at (413) 736-3111.
Important Message from the Springfield Fire Department - Residents should not use candles. Residents using backup generators and fireplaces should ensure there is proper ventilation to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning, especially when using equipment that requires vents or fans for airflow if there is a power outage.
Down Power Line Warning - Residents should stay away from all downed power lines to avoid injuries and call 911.
Emergency Shelter - An emergency shelter will open in necessary. Springfield’s Health and Human Service Department is prepared to staff and open a shelter if conditions warrant.
Food Safety Advisory - The City’s Department of Health and Human Services advises residents not to consume any food that has been stored in a refrigerator at temperatures of 45 degrees for more than four (4) consecutive hours to avoid illness.
Municipal Rubbish Collection - The City’s Department of Public Works indicates that rubbish collection will continue as scheduled. Items should be placed out for collection no later than 4:00 A.M., on the day of collection. Place barrels on the tree belt.
Helping Animals in Need - Two local animal welfare organizations are able to assist domestic animals. The following is the contact information for the Dakin Pioneer Valley Humane Society and the Thomas J. O’Connor Animal Control & Adoption Center
Dakin Pioneer Valley Human Society
171 Union Street
Springfield, MA 01105
Tel #: (413) 781-4000
TJO Animal Control & Adoption Center
627 Cottage Street
Springfield, MA 01104
Tel #: (413) 781-1484