GRAFTON, Mass. - Grafton Emergency Management has issued an update for residents as a major snowstorm is expected to pass through Friday and Saturday.
The National Weather Service has posted a blizzard warning for Central Massachusetts, with snowfall totals of 18 to 24 inches, and, in some pockets, up to 36 inches. Winds are expected to blow at 37 to 45 mph, with gusts over 60. Power outages may occur along with tree and structural damage. Residents are asked not to travel after 3 p.m. Friday.
The emergency shelter is not open yet, but if it is, a bulletin will go out via the Code Red system by e-mail and phone for those signed up for the service. To sign up, click on the highlighted link.
The Daily Voice will also post an update. The shelter, if it opens, will be in the Grafton Municipal Center Gym, 30 Providence Road.
A pet shelter will be set up at the same time. It will be located in the municipal center near the gym. Animal crates and some supplies, such as cat litter, will be available. Owners are responsible for food, medicine and leashes. If the pet shelter opens, more details will be sent out.
The Grafton Police said extra cruisers and a second dispatcher will be on hand from 3 p.m. Friday to 3 p.m. Saturday or Saturday night depending on the need.
The Grafton Fire Department will have three manned stations open during the storm, with firefighters and first responders to assist.
Assistant Town Administrator Kevin Mizikar has issued an emergency preparedness message regarding parking, hydrants, downed power lines and public buildings. Click on the highlighted link for more information.
A full staff of ambulance drivers will be available for medical emergencies and will work with the police if roads are treacherous.
National Grid has extra crews assigned to Grafton. Their first priority will be public safety, so downed power lines will be addressed first. If you see any downed lines, stay clear, notify National Grid if possible and wait for the crew. Do not go near any power lines.
A National Grid spokesperson said if power goes out it might be a prolonged time before it is restored because workers will be dealing with deep snow.