Bedford Police Warn Residents to Take Precautions Ahead of Freezing Weather

Bedford Police Department
Robert Bongiorno, Chief of Police
2 Mudge Way
Bedford, MA 01730

For Immediate Release

Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2019

Contact: John Guilfoil
Phone: 617-993-0003
Email: [email protected]

Bedford Police Warn Residents to Take Precautions Ahead of Freezing Weather

BEDFORD — Chief Robert Bongiorno is reminding residents to be cautious as they commute home Wednesday amid anticipated snow squalls and as temperatures drop below freezing into Thursday morning.

Town officials are continuously monitoring the weather and receive regular updates from the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency. Further information will be released to the public as it becomes available.

“Commuters Wednesday night need to take precaution,” Chief Bongiorno said. “Snow squalls pose a significant danger to drivers. Residents should drive slow, leave plenty of room between yourself and the driver ahead, make sure your headlights are on, and share your estimated time of arrival with someone.”

“Drivers should also take care to clear ice and snow from their vehicles,” Bongiouno added. “When ice and snow slides off a vehicle driving down the road, it poses a huge risk for other drivers and pedestrians.”

The National Weather Service has provided the following forecast information concerning snow squalls and strong winds that may impact this afternoon’s commute, along with extreme cold tonight into tomorrow.

From the National Weather Service

High Impact Snow Squalls Between 3-7 p.m. this Evening Along With Brief Strong To Perhaps Damaging Wind Gusts:

  • Scattered to numerous snow squalls cross eastern Massachusetts between 5-7 p.m. this evening.
  • Brief very heavy snow, near white-out conditions and strong to perhaps damaging wind gusts anticipated. Very hazardous travel for parts of the evening rush hour.
  • Snow squalls last less than 30 minutes in most locations but drop a quick coating to 1.5 inches of snow. Very localized 2-3 inch amounts can not be ruled out in the heaviest squalls.
  • Brief 40-60 mph wind gusts possible with the heaviest snow squalls. Localized tree damage/isolated power outages possible.
  • Wind advisories posted for most other locations in southern New England.

 

The Bedford Police Department asks that residents follow these tips from the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency:

  • Minimize outdoor activities for the whole family, including pets.
  • If outside, dress in several layers of loose-fitting, lightweight clothing instead of a single heavy layer. Outer garments should be tightly woven and water repellent. Wear a hat, mittens and sturdy waterproof boots to protect your extremities. Cover your mouth with a scarf to protect your lungs during the coldest portions of the day
  • Be a good neighbor. Check with elderly or disabled relatives and neighbors to ensure their safety.Additionally, because of the extreme cold, other areas of your home and vehicles may be affected:

Driving Safety

Avoid driving during the worst part of a storm and use extreme caution during a sudden snow squall.

  • Always clear snow and ice from windows, lights, the hood and the roof before driving.
  • Leave plenty of room for stopping.
  • Don’t try to out drive the conditions. Remember the posted speed limits are for dry pavement.
  • Know the current road conditions. Call 511 from your cell phone or 617-986-5511 from either your cell phone or landline phone
  • Brake early and correctly. It takes more time and distance to stop in adverse conditions.
  • Don’t use “cruise control” driving in wintry conditions. Even roads that look clear can have sudden slippery spots. Using your brake on these spots will deactivate cruise control, possibly causing you to lose control of your vehicle.
  • Look further ahead in traffic than normal.
  • Trucks are heavier than cars, making their brake time slower. Avoid cutting quickly in front of them.
  • Don’t crowd the plow. Leave room for maintenance vehicles and plows. Stay back at least 200 feet and don’t pass on the right.
  • Remember to slow down and always wear your seat belt.
  • Let others know your destination, route and expected travel times.
  • Allow for extra travel time.
  • Drive with your headlights on at all times to see and be seen.

Other Safety Tips

Increased fire risk due to unsafe/improper use of alternative heating sources or people trying to thaw frozen pipes with blowtorches or similar devices.

  • If you turn on a faucet and only a trickle comes out, suspect a frozen pipe. Locate the area of the water pipe that might be frozen. Likely places include pipes running against exterior walls or where your water service enters your home through the foundation.
  • Apply heat to the section of pipe using an electric heating pad wrapped around the pipe, an electric hair dryer, or wrapping pipes with towels soaked in hot water. Do not use a blowtorch, kerosene or propane heater, charcoal stove, or other open flame devices. A blowtorch can make water in a frozen pipe boil and cause the pipe to explode. All open flames in homes present a serious fire danger, as well as a severe risk of exposure to lethal carbon monoxide.

Possible increase in incidents of carbon monoxide poisoning from unsafe/improper use of alternative heating sources.

  • Ensure you have sufficient heating fuel, as well as alternate emergency heating equipment in case you lose electricity.
  • When utilizing alternate heating sources, including a fireplace, wood stove or space heater, make sure chimneys have been properly cleaned and devices are properly ventilated
  • Always operate generators outside and away from your home.

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