Menino on Hurricane Sandy: Boston public schools closing, ‘non-essential employees’ should stay home

The South Boston waterfront.
NICOLAUS CZARNECKI/METRO

Mayor Thomas M. Menino today announced Boston Public Schools will be closed on Monday, and all “non-essential city employees” should stay at home.

Menino is urging residents to take necessary precautions in preparation for severe weather expected to impact Boston early Monday morning, through Tuesday. The National Weather Service has announced coastal flood and high wind warnings for the area, both effective 6 a.m. Monday.

Sustained winds between 40 and 50 mph are expected from 8 a.m. through 8 p.m. Monday, with occasional gusts expected to reach up to 80 mph throughout the day. Winds reaching 40 mph make it difficult for a person to walk; at 50 mph, branches are torn from trees; at 60 mph, houses are damaged and trees are uprooted. One to three inches of rain are expected to fall in Boston through Wednesday, with high terrain areas expecting up to five inches.

“After assessing the most updated report from the National Weather Service, and out of concern for the safety of Boston residents, Boston Public Schools will be closed Monday and only essential personnel will report to City Hall,”  Menino said. “I urge Boston employers to assist the city in keeping residents safe, and allow employees to work from home.”

The Boston Centers for Youth & Families’ Curtis Hall, Hyde Park, Paris Street and Tobin Community Centers will be open tomorrow from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. to provide a safe and secure location for parents to bring their children in light of the BPS closure.  Other BCYF centers will open only in the event of an emergency that necessitates it.

Boston Police Department’s Unified Command Center will open at 6 a.m. to coordinate public safety response. The City’s Emergency Operations Center will open at 8 a.m.

All front line departments continue to meet daily to coordinate on preparedness plans. Public safety agencies will have additional response crews and equipment available throughout the city’s neighborhoods for the duration of the storm.

The Boston Fire Department is expecting down power lines throughout the storm and will have eight additional teams on duty. All down lines should be considered live and extremely dangerous, and should be reported to the Mayor’s hotline (617-635-4500).

The Office of Emergency Management is actively monitoring storm track with weather agencies and coordinating with state and federal agencies. The City is working closely with NSTAR, National Grid and other utilities to manage outages. All planned public events for Monday have been cancelled. City employees are encouraged to check with their immediate supervisor for further information.

Boston residents should register for emergency notifications from Alert Boston at www.cityofboston.gov/alertboston, or follow @notifyboston on Twitter for updates. Residents can also call the Mayor’s 24-hour hotline (617-635-4500) with any storm-related issues or concerns.

Due to expected high wind speeds, residents should ensure all trash and recycling containers are secured. Trash and recycling in Boston will be collected starting at 5 a.m. on Monday. If residents can hold items until their next scheduled pick-up day, they are being asked to do so. Residents should avoid placing out barrels and bins; instead trash should be double-bagged for collection.


Additionally, residents are reminded to take the following safety precautions:

  •  Put together an emergency supply kit, which should include food, water, medical supplies, and any other necessities for during and after the storm, if needed.
  • Keep batteries and flashlights on hand in case of power outage.
  • Stay indoors and away from windows.
  • Do not drive or go outside during the storm to help keep roads clear for emergency vehicles.
  • Immediately after a storm, use caution going outdoors. Be alert for hazards such as broken glass, down power lines, and damage to buildings.
  • Secure patio furniture, grills, window boxes, air conditioners, or anything else that may become a projectile in high winds.

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