Hurricane Sandy Situation Report #3 from MEMA

For additional information regarding this situation report, contact Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) Operations
by phone at (508) 820-2000/ (800) 982-6846 or by fax at (508) 820-2030.

Situation Reports will be updated as necessary.

CURRENT SITUATION:
Governor Patrick declared a State of Emergency at 12:45PM Saturday for the entire Commonwealth in order to facilitate preparation and response to Hurricane Sandy.

President Obama has issued a Pre-Landfall Emergency Declaration for direct federal assistance to facilitate the protection of persons and property in Massachusetts from the effects of Hurricane Sandy. Types of Federal assistance available include search and rescue, emergency power generation, mass care and sheltering support, commodities and distribution, evacuation support, emergency communications, incident management support, and technical and advisory assistance.

Sandy, currently a Category 1 hurricane, is currently located 368 miles south of Block Island and is moving north at 15 mph. Sandy will turn towards the west tonight, making landfall in central New Jersey coast sometime early Monday morning.

Given the large geographic size and duration of Sandy, Massachusetts will experience moderate to major impacts, including damaging winds for a period of 12 - 15 hours and associated widespread power outages. In addition, both south- and east-facing coastlines will experience moderate to major coastal flooding and beach erosion.

Potential impacts of Sandy include:
High Seas: Sandy is predicted to cause unusually high seas (30 feet or greater) off the coast of New England with seas peaking today into Tuesday. Strong gale and storm force winds are expected with hurricane force gusts possible. Seas will be dangerous and potentially life-threatening, even for large vessels. National Weather Service (NWS) advises all vessels be in port.

Winds: Damaging winds and associated widespread power outages are likely. Wind damage may be exacerbated in southern New England as most trees still have foliage at this time of year. Inland Massachusetts will likely experience sustained 30-40 mph winds with gusts of 50-60 mph. The Massachusetts coastline will see winds of 40-50 mph with gusts of 60-80 mph. The strongest winds will be between late afternoon and into tonight.

Coastal Flooding: Both east- and south-facing coasts in Massachusetts may experience moderate to major coastal flooding and beach erosion during the Monday and Tuesday high tide cycles. South facing coastal communities are seeing some initial coastal flooding as the morning high tide begins to subside. The Monday evening high tide is of most concern and may experience major coastal flooding. Surge is expected to reach 3-5 feet, with high energy waves of 30-35 feet approaching the coastline. There is the possibility that areas within Buzzards Bay, especially communities from Farihaven and west to Narragensett Bay, with up to 7 feet in the upper portion of Narragansett Bay.

For east-facing coasts, moderate coastal flooding is anticipated, with the Monday midday and midnight high tide cycles of most concern. Communities on the east-facing shorelines are beginning to see impacts are the midday high tide approaches. East-facing coasts may see 2-4 feet of surge during high tide, with 3-5 feet possible during low tide cycle.

Rainfall: Massachusetts can expect 1 -3 inches of rainfall Sunday night through Wednesday with locally higher amounts of 3-5 inches possible, especially in the Berkshires and Worcester Hills. Small stream flooding and localized urban flooding related to poor drainage may occur, but overall inland flooding will not be a concern with Sandy.

MEMA OPERATIONS:
The State Emergency Operations Center is activated to Level I (Highest) and will maintain 24.7 operations. The MEMA Regional offices are also activated and will be operational on a 24/7 basis.

AGENCIES PRESENT IN THE SEOC:

American Red Cross
Civil Air Patrol
Coastal Zone Management
Department of Public Health
Department of Public Safety
Department of Public Utilities
Dept of Conservation and Recreation
Dept of Environmental Law Enforcement
Dept. of Agricultural Resources
Dept. of Environmental Protection
Dept. of Fire Services
EMAC
FEMA
FEMA IMAT
Information Technology Division Mass. Department of Transportation
Mass Environmental Police
Mass National Guard
Mass State Police
Mass Water Resources Authority
National Grid
NEDRIX
Northeast Utilities
Operational Services Division
Salvation Army
U.S. Coast Guard
Unitil
Urban Search and Rescue
US Army Corps of Engineers
Volunteer Organizations Active in Disasters
CORPORATE REPRESENTATIVE PRESENT IN THE SEOC:

Ashbritt Environmental
Boston Cares
Lowe's
National Grid
NStar/WMECO
Poland Spring
Unitil
Walgreens
Walmart
OPERATIONAL OBJECTIVES:
MEMA has established the following operational priorities for the initial response to Sandy:
• Gain and maintain situational awareness and provide information to community and state officials in a timely manner
• Assist communities with coastal flooding response and provide evacuation assistance
• Assist with emergency debris clearance to keep critical routes passable for emergency vehicles
• Assist communities with providing sheltering for displaced survivors
• Predict local resource shortfalls and pre-stage resources to meet needs
• Support community response
• Assess status of critical infrastructure

WEATHER FORECAST:
A High Wind Warning is in effect for all of Massachusetts until 6:00AM Tuesday.
A Coastal Flood Warning is in effect along the entire Massachusetts coast until 1:00PM Tuesday.
A Flood Watch is in effect for central and western Massachusetts until 6:00AM Wednesday.

Monday: Rain, heavy at times, windy with highs in the lower 60s. Northeast winds 25 to 35 mph. Chance of rain 80%.
Monday night and Tuesday: Rain, heavy at times, windy, lows in the mid 50s and highs in the lower 60s. Chance of rain 90%.
Tuesday night: Rain likely with lows in the lower 50s. Chance of rain 70%.
Wednesday: Mostly cloudy, 50% chance of showers with highs in the upper 50s.
Wednesday night and Thursday: Mostly cloudy, 40% chance of showers with lows in the mid 40s and highs in the mid 50s.
Thursday night: Mostly cloudy, 30% chance of showers with lows in the 40s
Friday: Partly sunny with highs in the mid 50s.

Please see the National Weather Service website at http://www.weather.gov for additional detail about the current forecast and active warnings.

Evacuations
• Newbury: Officials issued a voluntary evacuation order for Plum Island last night and strongly recommended that residents planning to leave do so before 9:00AM this morning, as emergency services may not be able to access the island during the height of the storm. Access to Plum Island will be restricted to residents only.
• Lynn: Officials have recommended that residents in the River Street neighborhood in West Lynn evacuate. Homes located in the surge inundation zone were flyered yesterday with hazard information suggesting evacuation and a reverse 911 call was broadcast with EOC public call center and shelter information. Lynn Fire and Police and Greater Lynn Senior Services will provide evacuation assistance as needed. Lynn Police will monitor the threatened area during high tides to watch for residents evacuating late.
• New Bedford: The Mayor has recommended that residents in low-lying areas outside the hurricane barrier evacuate their homes by 8:00AM today.
• Scituate: Officials have strongly advised residents to evacuate the areas of Hummarock, Rebecca Road, Oceanside, and Tuner. Currently there is no splashover or flooding, but they are anticipating severe flooding in that area.
• Dighton: Ofificals have issued a Voluntary Evacuation Order for residents living along the Taunton River. Fire Department is going door to door advising residents of this. Residences in the area of Pleasant Street, Main Street, and the Yacht Clubs are being notified. No local shelter opened as of yet. Local State of Emergency also declared as of 0800 hours this morning. Dighton EMD will advise of further updates or requests for assistance. No requests at this time.

Other Significant Events
• Winthrop has closed the tidal gate on the Winthrop Parkway (Rt. 145) as of 7:00AM this morning. The gate will remain closed through at least Tuesday morning.
• Deer Island Treatment plant (wastewater) and the John J Carroll Treatment plant (water) are on generator power as a precaution for power outages.
• New Bedford Hurricane Barrier closed at approximately 5:30 AM this morning. Could remain closed for the duration of the storm.

ONGOING SIGNIFICANT EVENTS:
MEMA is monitoring impacts to communities and resource needs related to localized evacuations in coastal communities.

REQUESTS FOR ASSISTANCE:
MEMA has received a total of 29 requests for assistance from communities.

AGENCY ACTIONS:
Over the past several days MEMA, together with its public- and private-sector partners, conducted extensive pre-landfall planning for Sandy, focusing on a number of functional areas. A summary of preparedness activities to date is provided below. Response operations will begin today.

Commodities and Staging
• Currently identifying sources for these commodities.
• Identified five locations for state staging areas for commodities distribution. Currently determining logistics requirements for each staging area.
• Identified additional private-sector SEOC liaisons.

Transportation
• MassDOT Highway Division: All districts have completed their preparedness and stand ready to respond to interruptions on state roadways caused by Hurricane Sandy. Facilities have been secured, all loose equipment and material has been stored inside. District 5 (Taunton) is supporting Army National Guard (MANG) sandbagging operation at the Assonet depot in Freetown, providing two (2) front-end loaders (FEL) and equipment operators. This operation will continue until further notice.District 4 (Arlington) have provided the town of Newbury with a portable variable message sign in support of a voluntary evacuation from Plum Island. District 6 (Boston) is prepared to implement the Tobin LNG-Type Closure if the wind speeds reach 75 MPH.
• MassDOT Rail & Transit Division: The MBTA will suspend service as of 2:00 p.m. today in response to storm conditions.
• MassPort: Conley Terminal is closed today. All MassPort locations and departments have concluded storm preparations. MassPort Fire Rescue implemented severe weather plans yesterday evening and has been coordinating closely with mutual aid partners. Worcester and Hanscom airports are prepared to support staging requests. The vast majority of flights are canceled; all passengers should check with their airline BEFORE coming to the airport
Additional personnel (e.g., electricians) have been called in and mobilized. The Black Falcon cruise terminal reports that all currently docked vessels will remain in port until further notice.
The Massport EOC opened at 6:00AM. Massport held a regularly scheduled 8:30AM meeting with the airlines and operations and will hold a storm-specific coordination meeting at 1:00PM.
• Steamship Authority: Service has been suspended until further notice.
• Registry of Motor Vehicles: RMV has identified facilities that may be at risk of storm damage, and will monitor these locations closely. They have also put all of their vendors on notice, and they're prepared to respond if required. The alarm company that monitors most RMV facilities will contact them immediately if a facility loses communications or power. General Services staff will be positioned at the Worcester RMV, New Bedford RMV, Concord Warehouse, Danvers RMV and the State Transportation Building. RMV has updated emergency contact information for staff in the event they need to change operations (close offices/redeploy staff to other locations); and will alert customers of any changes via social media (website, Twitter, etc.).
• Aeronautics will continue communication and coordination with the statewide system of airports throughout the event. The division has a helicopter available for damage assessment or personnel transport if requested.
• Regional Transit Authorities: Some RTA services have been reduced or canceled for Monday as follows:
• Cape Cod RTA - Services Canceled
• Pioneer Valley RTA - Reduced Service on some routes.
• Southeastern RTA - Normal Service although route by route
Other RTA service providers will continue monitoring the storm and make operational decisions accordingly.
• Amtrak has canceled all Northeast Corridor service north of New York City as of 7:00PM last night and canceled nearly all service on the Eastern Seaboard today. All Acela Express, Northeast Regional service has been cancelled.

Debris Management
• DCR has the following resources available: 20 saw crews, 3 bucket truck crews, 2 HEO's, 7 Rangers for rapid assessment, 2 skid steer, 1 log loader, 3 front end loaders (need trailers to transport), 1 lowboy trailer with tractor, 8 small/medium trailers, 4 generators, 12 variable message boards, 2 1/4 ton trucks, 4 1 ton trucks, 3 5 ton trucks, 2 backhoes, 3 tractors with buckets, 2 ATVs, 1 track drive excavator, and 14 UTVs.
• The DPS Building Division is setting up regions for potential damage assessment response and is assembling 7 teams of 1-3 personnel to conduct post-storm building damage assessments.
• Inventoried current state agency and state debris contractor assets and developed a common nomenclature for identifying debris clearance assets.
• Developed protocol for prioritizing debris clearance missions
• Defined scope of debris clearance missions ("curb-to-curb" clearance only)
• Identified potential need for third-party debris monitoring contractor
• Reaching out to MSP to address potential vehicle permitting issues
• Debris management guidance for local officials is available on MEMA's website (www.mass.gov/mema)

Mass Care / Shelters

• The Following Shelters have been open as of 10/29/2012:
• Becket Town Hall, Becket
• BMC Durfee High School, Fall River
• Carver High School, Carver
• Chilmark Community Center, Chilmark
• Dennis-Yarmouth Regional H.S., Barnstable
• Keith Middle School , New Bedford
• Lynn Classical H.S., Lynn
• Nauset H.S., Barnstable
• Newbury Elementary School, Newbury
• Newbury Middle School, St. Newbury
• Plymouth South Middle School, Plymouth
• Sandwich H.S., Barnstable
• Weymouth H.S., Weymouth
• Weymouth High School, Weymouth
• MDPH has asked all their Regional Coordinators to reach out to their local communities and hospitals to ensure they are prepared for the storm (especially along the coast) and to obtain their most current 24/7 contact information. In addition our local public health coordinators will be working to obtain information regarding any local shelters and/or charging stations their local communities are planning to open.
• Marshfield opened the Council on Aging at 8:00AM today as an emergency reception center for temporary sheltering only. Feeding and sleeping accommodations are not available at this facility. Marshfield will provide transportation to the Weymouth Regional Shelter for people without vehicles.

Animal Care
• ESF 17 has been working since Friday to ensure that there are plans in place at designated Red Cross regional shelters for handling companion animals that may arrive at those facilities.
• The shelters on Nantucket, Martha's Vineyard, Sandwich, Dennis/Yarmouth Cape, Fall River, Weymouth, Northampton, Greenfield, North Adams, and Fitchburg will be able to accommodate pets.
• Details to follow. Information regarding sheltering pets in Chicopee, Millville, Worcester, Newbury, and Lynn is not yet confirmed.

Search & Rescue
• MA TF 1 has been activated by Massachusetts and is staged at MEMA Region 2 to support missions as needed.
• MSP, MEP, DFS, CAP, MANG, and Coast Guard prepositioned search and rescue assets to support missions as needed.
• Identified civilian search and rescue teams that may be able to assist.
• MA Environmental Police has staged 11 coastal patrol boats ranging from 23' to 46' along the coast from Gloucester to New Bedford. As of 10:00AM today 4 16' Roughneck flat bottomed boats on trailers will be staged in Bridgewater with other search and rescue assets. MEP also has 4x4 cruisers and 30+ ATVs with officers, as well as multiple trailered vessels ready upon request.
• One Incident Support Unit is on standby at the MA Military Reservation in case of bridge closure. The ISU at DFS Headquarters in Stow is staffed with a driver.
• HAZMAT Squad 14 on Cape Cod is staffed to a Tier 1 level.
• All seven Technical Operations Modules units statewide are staffed with two hazmat techs.
• A fire mobilization/tech rescue liaison has been assigned to the SEOC.
• DFS continues planning and distribution of information relating to search and rescue planning with pre-staged assets for coastal communities.

Communications
• Assembled Verizon phone/MiFi packages for possible deployment.
• A dedicated saw crew is assigned to work with ESF-2 to ensure that roads to communications towers are kept clear to facilitate repair/resupply.

Energy/Utilities
• National Grid, NSTAR, WMECO, and Unitil have opened their EOCs.
• DPU, Unitil, National Grid, NSTAR/WMECO representatives are present in the SEOC.
• The following outages have been reported statewide (as of 10:00 a.m.):
• National Grid 4229
• NSTAR 4377
• WMECO 100
• FG&E 0
• Total 8706

Rapid Impact Assessment Teams
• Rapid Impact Assessment Teams can be deployed into impacted areas to conduct rapid damage assessments. These teams will coordinate with local emergency management officials.

Air Operations
• MassPort, Massachusetts State Police - Air Wing, Mass Department of Transportation - Aeronautics Division, Massachusetts National Guard, and Civil Air Patrol have identified their current capabilities and assets are at the ready in preparation for Tropical Storm Sandy.

Public Information / Social Media
• MEMA's PIO has been conducting media interviews and calls.
• MEMA is also expanding its use of social media during Sandy including pushing out information and as time allows responding to general questions and monitoring social media for situational awareness and operational response.
• Coordinated with Mass 2-1-1 representative about information sharing.

Military / Law Enforcement
• MA State Police report the following:
• Troop A (Northeastern):There will be a parking ban in effect for Winthrop Shore Drive at 0800 numerous rocks come over this wall during storms.
• Troop B (Western): No storm or storm related incidents to report at this time.
• Troop C (Central): Currently assigned day shift patrols at minimum manning +8. Roster of MSP personnel (total of 65 troopers) who are available to assist as extra patrols distributed through Troop early this morning.
• Troop D (Southeast): No changes to regular assigned patrols. No impact to roadways at this time.
• Troop E (Tobin/Zakim/Tunnels/Pike): No significant activity for Troop E.
• Troop F (Logan): Identified a total of 50 troopers who can be deployed to support storm response as needed.
• Troop H (Metro Boston): No storm related incidents at this time.
• The Massachusetts National Guard currently has 170 personnel on duty preparing to support civil authorities in response to Hurricane Sandy. Preparations are underway to activate an additional 1,000 personnel to provide search and rescue, debris clearance, transportation, law enforcement augmentation, and general support to civil authorities throughout the Commonwealth.
• Priorities include to Support state efforts to ensure major road networks are clear for emergency responders and relief efforts; to support flood control efforts through sandbagging operations; and to operate Incident.
• National Guard personnel are assisting with sandbag filling operations at Freetown/Assonet DOT Depot
• Preparation for Incident Staging Base operations at Mass Military Reservation (MMR)
• Preparation for photographer support to Rapid Impact Assessment Team (RIAT). Liaison staffing at Regional EOCs.
• Staging Base at MMR for relief operations in the Cape and Islands.
• ENV - Currently coordinating with ELE Command staff to determine what assets will be requested and needed by local and state jurisdictions. ELE currently has large platform vessels moored along various coastline locations on Cape Cod. In addition, there are pre staged smaller aluminum hull type craft on trailers if requested. Standing by.

Other Preparedness Activities
• The Flood gates on Winthrop Pkwy closed at 0800.
• Beachmont Flood Gate in Revere closed at 6:00AM today.
• All DCR parks, indoor and outdoor recreational facilities, and waterfront areas are closed for the duration of the storm. DCR will begin re-opening facilities as weather and facility conditions allow.
• DCR closed all campgrounds statewide at dusk on Sunday. Campgrounds will remain closed for the duration of the storm. DCR recommends that visitors contact individual facilities prior to beginning their trip.
• DCR parkways have been cleared of leaves and debris.
• A parking ban is in place on Winthrop Shore Drive as of 8:00AM today. Vehicles violating the ban will be towed. Drawdowns have been completed on mainstem rivers and impoundments.
• DCR has lowered the river elevation behind the New Charles River Dam on the Charles River and the Amelia Earhart Dam on the Mystic River to create additional floodwater storage capacity in those rivers.
• MWRA has lowered the Sudbury and Wachusett reservoirs to create additional storage capacity. Dams with the highest concerns will have enhanced monitoring.
• DCR engineers have inspected pump stations, drainage culverts, and storm drains along DCR roadways to ensure adequate drainage flow and minimize flooding.

OTHER ITEMS:
Governor Patrick will conduct a press availability at 3:30 p.m. at MEMA today.