BOSTON – Governor Charlie Baker today announced the deployment of 500 Massachusetts National Guardsmen to assist with snow removal and cleanup efforts for areas of the Commonwealth most impacted by heavy snowfall from recent winter storms. The National Guard will mobilize their heavy equipment, including front end loaders, bobcats, and dump trucks, to communities starting this afternoon to assist with snow removal.
Other National Guard teams will be deployed to shovel out fire hydrants, dig out passageways, and clear snow around public safety building or critical areas. The Vermont National Guard will also be sending equipment and personnel to Massachusetts to assist with cleanup efforts.
Governor Baker also announced that through the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA), the Commonwealth has authorized the purchase of two additional snow-melting machines and more heavy equipment from surrounding states to clear roadways and sidewalks. The snow-melters can process about 120 tons of snow per hour, or about 25 truckloads of snow every hour. MEMA will coordinate these resources to the communities with the greatest public safety need.
“The Commonwealth has been hit by historic storms and unpreceded snowfall, posing challenges for cities and towns struggling with clean up,” said Governor Baker. “After three major storms in two weeks and multiple discussions with MEMA, State Police and the National Guard, we have deployed 500 National Guardsmen to dig out fire hydrants and other critical assets. We have also secured heavy equipment from the Vermont National Guard and purchased additional snow melters to assist communities in need. It has been a difficult winter for the people of Massachusetts, but we encourage everyone to remain patient and help shovel sidewalks, driveways, and safely clear roofs. Our goal is to help all municipalities safely return to working order as quickly as possible.”
Last night, the Baker Administration declared a state of emergency and ordered non-emergency personnel who live or work in Essex, Middlesex, Norfolk or Suffolk counties not to report to work today.
The following updates have been announced by the Baker Administration:
Deployment of the Massachusetts National Guard – Tuesday, February 10th, 2015: The Massachusetts National Guard will deploy 500 Guardsmen to assist with snow removal and cleanup efforts for critical assets in select cities and towns. 200 Guardsmen will deploy in 50 teams of 4 men and women per Humvee to assist cities and towns to dig out fire hydrants and other critical assets. The remainder of the Guardsmen will operate heavy machinery to remove snow.
Request for Mutual Assistance
Tuesday, February 10th, 2015: Through MEMA, the Commonwealth has authorized the purchase of two additional snow-melting machines and requested 200 additional pieces of heavy equipment from neighboring states (front end loaders, dump trucks, bobcats, backhoes) for mutual assistance.
Partial State Office Closure – Tuesday, February 10th, 2015: Non-emergency state employees who either live or work in Essex, Middlesex, Norfolk or Suffolk counties should not report to work today.
State of Emergency
Effective Immediately: Governor Baker has signed a declaration of emergency for Massachusetts ensuring state resources are available and coordinated for storm preparation and to enable swift response among the state, cities and towns. The state of emergency declaration will allow expedited use of state resources, the ability to request and receive mutual aid assistance from other states or the federal government if needed, the immediate procurement and deployment of goods and services necessary for response and other actions as considered necessary by the Governor. The state of emergency shall remain in effect until notice is given in the Governor's judgment that it is no longer necessary.