Power restoration, cleanup efforts continue in wake of the Blizzard of '13
DPW workers clear snow from a sidewalk along Bradford Street in Provincetown
CAPE COD - 10:00 p.m. update: Progress being made with 51,500 customers still in the dark, Harwich Police want to remind citizens that the business lines for the police and fire departments are not working. The only police line that works at this time is 432-1212 and the only FD line that works is 432-2323. Both of these lines are technically emergency lines that are used for cellular 911. 911 is still working.
8 p.m.update: Power outage numbers down to 69,000, about half of the maximum number at the height of the storm. Sandwich shelter reopens: The Barnstable County Regional Emergency Planning Committee (REPC) announces that the Sandwich High School regional shelter has reopened and is accepting clients as of 7:30 p.m. on Sunday, February 10, 2013.
Updated Regional Shelter Status
Dennis-Yarmouth Regional High School
210 Station Avenue, South Yarmouth
Falmouth High School
874 Gifford Street, Falmouth
Nauset Regional High School
100 Cable Road, North Eastham
Sandwich High School
365 Quaker Meeting House Road, Sandwich
6 p.m. update: 76,000 customers still in the cold and dark. Another rollover on Route 6, this time before Exit 6 in Barnstable. The driver escaped serious injury. With nightfall comes dropping temperatures allowing slush to refreeze so be aware of black ice. There are still several close calls with carbon monoxide keeping area firefighters busy.
Shelters: Dennis Emergency Management personnel want to remind the public that the regional shelter at the Dennis-Yarmouth Regional High School, 210 Station Avenue, South Yarmouth which was filled to capacity last night, remains open and ready to accept those people in need of sheltering. The shelter continues to accept pets as well. If anyone needs transportation to the shelter or additional information they can call the Dennis Police Department at 774-352-1413.The Barnstable County Regional Emergency Planning Committee (REPC) announces that the Cape Cod Regional Transit Authority (RTA) will discontinue emergency shelter transportation operations at 7 p.m. on Sunday, February 10, 2013. Anyone in need of transportation to the regional shelter system after that time should contact their local police or fire departments for assistance. The RTA will offer limited emergency shelter transportation on Monday, February 11, 2013.
Yarmouth Fire like all departments has been very busy but they have taken the time to list some timely safety tips: Since 8:00 a.m. Friday, February 8, 2013, The Yarmouth Fire Rescue Department has responded to 193 calls for emergencies, including 3 building fires, and continue to have an increased call volume. Most personnel have worked for over 60 hours without sleep or relief. We have assisted in the manning of our regional shelter, and manned the Town Emergency Operation Center. During this extraordinary tempo of operations, fire rescue personnel have performed in an exemplary manner, for which we all should be proud. YFD is particularly proud of you, our citizens, for your preparedness and conduct during the storm. You make a difficult situation much easier. Yarmouth citizen volunteers; Red Cross, CERT, and MRC, to name a few, have all worked significant hours with no rest or sleep. A Red Cross Supervisor mentioned to Fire Chief Michael Walker that their shelter was a model by which all shelters should measure themselves.
During this continued difficult period, YFD would like to mention some items for your safety:
Please do not use your chimney for heat unless it has been serviced and inspected.
Please do not attempt to install electrical generators without using qualified electricians with proper permitting.
Treat all electrical wires on the ground as if they are live. Stay at least 15 feet from down wires.
Use caution with snow blowers; ensure they are shut off and remove the spark plug wire before putting your hands near the blades.
With snow piled up from plowing, use extreme caution before turning onto roads and exiting your driveways; visibility is limited for other vehicles, and children will naturally want to be out playing in the snow; they may be difficult to see.
Take frequent rest breaks when shoveling snow.
The State Fire Marshal's office has issued a statement regarding the potential for roof collapse due to the heavy snow. Please use caution if trying to clear snow or call for help! The current winter storm that has hit Massachusetts continues to present a variety of challenges. As we approach the new week, it is anticipated that warm temperatures and rainfall will blanket portions of Massachusetts. With the recent heavy snowfall this rain will increase the weight on roofs throughout the Commonwealth. The fire services needs to plan for this onset of storm related issues. Areas of concern would be where lower roofs meet higher roofs, flat roofs, areas with parapets or areas of drifting.
Many area commercial buildings may hire or bring staff on to clear the roofs of snow. We recommend you consider pre-planning for roof top emergency responses. In areas of significant snow fall consideration should be given to the additional weight firefighters would place on these roofs.
Homeowners, tenants, and businesses need to be cognizant of the danger posed by heavy snow loads on roofs, and the warning signs of potential structural weaknesses. In some instances, the risks posed by accumulated snow on roofs can be mitigated by safely removing snow from roofs of both commercial buildings and homes. Because temperatures are expected to increase during the day and drop back to freezing at night efforts should be undertaken now to safely remove snow from roofs.
Removing snow from rooftops will minimize the likelihood of structural collapse.
Flat and low pitched roofs, most often found on industrial buildings, but are also used in certain home designs, are at the greatest risk of buckling under heavy snow and ice accumulations.
Removing snow from rooftops will minimize the likelihood of structural collapse.
Lower roofs, where snow drifts or accumulates from higher roofs are also vulnerable.
4 p.m. update:
In Falmouth rescuers rushed to Inkberry Lane after reports a person was accidentally run over by their own vehicle. Their condition was not immediately known. A shed was gutted by fire at 7 Kimba Lane in Bourne. Two people were evaluated in Mashpee for carbon monoxide exposure. Fire officials say a generator at 133 Main Street was too close to the building. A pickup truck rolled over on Route 6 eastbound just past the Route 134 overpass in Dennis. The driver was taken to Cape Cod Hospital with non life-threatening injuries. Cotuit firefighters rescued a dog that went through the ice of No Bottom Pond off Ralyn Lane. Power outage number has just dropped below 80,000.
As of 2 p.m. 84,500 customers were still out. Harwich officials report phone line troubles at their station. Use the following numbers for emergencies in Harwich: Harwich Fire: 508-432-2323, Harwich Police: 508-432-1212.
The State Fire Marshal's office is providing safety tips in the aftermath of the blizzard:
Adopt a Hydrant If You Can
“In a fire seconds count,” said State Fire Marshal Stephen Coan, “so help your fire department protect you and your neighbors but removing snow from nearby fire hydrants.” Fire officials are urging those who are able to do so, to shovel snow away from fire hydrants in case access to them is needed quickly.
Staying Safe After the Storm
State Fire Marshal Coan issued a fire safety warning for people who experience a power outage from this storm. “This large snowstorm and its high winds caused widespread power outages,” said Coan. “It is important to take steps to stay safe and prevent fires and carbon monoxide poisoning,” he added.
Make Sure Stovetop and Oven Are Turned Off and Clear of Clutter
“People who suffered a power outage should take precautions to prepare for restoration of the power,” said State Fire Marshal Stephen D. Coan. “Make sure appliances that might have been on when the power went out like stoves and ovens are turned off and clear of items that might catch fire.”
Clear Snow from Furnace and Dryer Vents
Clear the outside furnace, hot water and dryer vents of snow to prevent flue gases from backing up into the home and creating a carbon monoxide hazard. “This is especially important if the power has been out,” said Coan. “Don’t use your oven for heat and don’t bring a charcoal or gas grill inside to cook; doing so can cause carbon monoxide poisoning,” he said. Generators are a common source of carbon monoxide poisoning during extended power outages. Coan warned, “Use generators outdoors only. Using generators or gas or charcoal grills inside the garage – even with the door open – poses a serious risk of CO poisoning.”
As of 11 a.m. the colors on the NSTAR outage map look much the same as they did early this morning. Slight progress as numbers are down to 87,000 customers out. Area rescue crews are still very busy including carbon monoxide investigations and possible hypothermia calls. CWN associate Andrew Jones was able to send this dramatic photo of a large tree down on a house on Moody Drive in Sandwich.
NSTAR crews supplemented by crews from other regions continue to try to unscramble the mess of trees and wires made by the blizzard. as of 2 a.m. 94,000 customers were still out.
In other storm news overnight, one person was taken to Falmouth Hospital after possible exposure to carbon monoxide at a house on Sandwich Road in Falmouth. Further details were not immediately available.
Another friendly reminder: Check the food in your refrigerator. Power has been out for a long time in many areas. "If in doubt, throw it out"
Brewster Fire improves ISO rating
BREWSTER - The Town of Brewster Fire Department was recently reevaluated by the Insurance Services Office, Inc. ISO is a nationally recognized expert assessor of fire department operations in the United States. Their office collects and evaluates information from communities in the United States on their structure fire suppression capabilities. The data is analyzed using ISO’s Fire Suppression Rating Schedule (FSRS) which reviews several key components of a fire departments operation including dispatch services, staffing, apparatus, training, and water supply capabilities. Fire Departments who lower their ISO rating highlight the advanced capabilities, operational proficiencies, progressive training efforts, and administrative competencies of their individual organizations. Lowering a communities rating is recognized as a major accomplishment in today’s fire service.
Brewster Fire is pleased to report that they have received an upgraded Public Protection Classification moving from a Class 4 to a Class 3 which makes the Brewster Fire Department one of a few combination fire departments in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to achieve this rating.
To meet this objective the Brewster Fire Department worked collaboratively over the past 18 months with local and regional stakeholders including the Board of Selectmen, Brewster Water Department, Barnstable County Sheriffs Communications Center, regional fire service partners, residents of Brewster, and the dedicated members of their organization.
“By reducing our ISO rating our organization has accomplished one of the main goals identified within our five-year strategic plan”, states Fire Chief Robert Moran. “The entire community will benefit from the improved service levels and the proven multi-faceted, professional manner in which we do business”.
Media release furnished by Brewster Fire
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