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winter-storm-plows-february-8-2013MassDOT is advising anyone who has essential travel tonight and on Saturday to plan trips around the timing of a storm system expected to bring heavy wet snow across parts of Massachusetts.

“Anyone who must be driving for an essential reason late tonight and through mid-day Saturday, should plan ahead and drive at reduced speeds,”said Highway Administrator Jonathan Gulliver.  “MassDOT is well prepared for this late season storm, but motorists should expect periods of variable and challenging driving conditions and reduced visibility.  Drivers need to remain vigilant and reduce speeds.”

The National Weather Service is forecasting a rain and rain/snow mix to begin moving into western parts of Massachusetts this evening. This will then expand eastward overnight with most areas turning to all snow early Saturday morning. The exception is across southeastern Massachusetts where some areas will remain a mix and parts of the Cape and Islands will remain rain.  Dry weather expected for Saturday night and Sunday.

As the State of Emergency, due to the pandemic, remains in place in Massachusetts, only those drivers on essential errands or traveling to or from essential job locations should be on the roads; other members of the public are asked to remain at home.

MassDOT strongly urges drivers to always wear seatbelts, minimize distractions and obey the state’s new hands-free bill for phones and mobile devices.  Other important storm driving tips include:

  • Clear snow and ice from all windows and lights – even the hood and roof- before driving
  • Leave plenty of room for stopping.
  • Remember the posted speed limits are for dry pavement.
  • Use brakes carefully. Brake early. Brake correctly. It takes more time and distance to stop in adverse conditions.
  • Bridge decks freeze first. Due to the difference in the exposure to air, the surface condition can be worse on a bridge than on the approach road.

For updates on road and traffic conditions in Massachusetts, drivers can:

  • Dial 511 and select a route to hear real-time conditions on I-90 and other roads.
  • Visit www.mass511.com, a website which provides real-time traffic and incident advisory information, and allows users to subscribe to text and email alerts for traffic conditions.

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