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Winter Storm Advisory for Jan. 19-20

For Immediate Release: 1/18/2019 4:45 pm

Significant snow is predicted for the Worcester area from Saturday night through the day on Sunday. Extremely cold temperatures are also expected on Monday.

Motorists are urged to stay off the roads during the storm unless travel is absolutely necessary so that crews can plow streets effectively. The declared winter parking ban will go into effect at 4 p.m. on Saturday, January 19. Towing and ticketing will be done aggressively to keep streets clear. For questions, please call the DPW Customer Service Center at (508) 929-1300 beginning at 4 p.m. on Saturday.

Municipal parking garages will be open free of charge from 4 p.m. on Saturday, January 19 until Monday, January 21 at 10 a.m. (Federal Plaza, Major Taylor, Pearl-Elm, Union Station, Worcester Common).

The Worcester Public Library will be closed on Sunday, January 20 as will the Worcester Common Oval Public Ice Skating Rink. The rink will be open as the weather and ice conditions allow on Monday, January 21. Closings and delayed openings can be found at and by calling (508) 929-0777.

Hotel Grace, a shelter located in the basement of St. John’s Catholic Church at 44 Temple Street, will be open regular hours and may open earlier based on the weather. The SMOC shelter at 25 Queen Street will also be open on Sunday, January 20 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Be prepared for the storm and the cold by following these winter weather safety tips during the weekend and throughout the winter season:

Cold Weather Reminders:

  • When the weather is extremely cold, and especially if there are high winds, stay indoors.
  • Make any trips outside as brief as possible.
  • Check on your elderly family/neighbors often.
  • Drink non-caffeinated fluids. Dehydration occurs more quickly in cold, dry weather. Be sure to keep yourself well hydrated, especially if you are exerting yourself.
  • Cover exposed skin and watch for frostbite. In extreme cold, frostbite can happen quickly.
  • Keep pets indoors.

Dress Warmly and Stay Dry:

  • Wear several layers of loose-fitting warm clothing rather than one layer of heavy clothing.
  • Use thermal underwear, undershirts, track suits, sweaters, snowsuits, boots, hats, gloves, and scarves.
  • Be sure that your outer layer is tightly woven and windproof.
  • Wear wool – it will keep you warmer than cotton when damp or wet.
  • Wear mittens over gloves – layering works for your hands as well.
  • Wear a hat and cover your mouth with a scarf to protect your lungs.

When Traveling:

  • Don't rely on a car to provide sufficient heat; the car may break down.
  • Always carry additional warm clothing appropriate for the winter conditions.
  • Carry an Emergency Supply Kit in the trunk.
  • Keep your car’s gas tank full for emergency use and to keep the fuel line from freezing.
  • Let someone know your destination, your route and when you expect to arrive.
  • Eat regularly and drink ample fluids, but avoid caffeine and alcohol.

Heat Your Home Safely:

  • Use fireplace, wood stoves or other combustion heaters only if they are properly vented to the outside and do not leak flue gas into the indoor air space.
  • Do not burn paper in a fireplace.
  • Ensure adequate ventilation if you must use a kerosene heater.
  • Use only the type of fuel your heater is designed to use - don't substitute.
  • Do not place a space heater within 3 feet of anything that may catch on fire, such as drapes, furniture or bedding, and never cover your space heater.
  • Never place a space heater on top of furniture or near water.
  • Never leave children unattended near a space heater.
  • Make sure that the cord of an electric space heater is not a tripping hazard but do not run the cord under carpets or rugs.
  • Avoid using extension cords to plug in your space heater.
  • If your space heater has a damaged electrical cord or produces sparks, do not use it.
  • Store a multipurpose, dry-chemical fire extinguisher near the area to be heated.
  • Protect yourself from carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning by installing a battery-operated CO detector and never using generators, grills, camp stoves or similar devices indoors.
  • Keep dryer vents clear of snow and ice.

More winter weather safety/preparation tips are available at Residents are also encouraged to sign-up for ALERTWorcester and Smart911 to stay informed and be prepared in case of an emergency.

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