BOSTON (WBZ-AM) -- Boston Mayor Marty Walsh and other city officials briefed the public on storm preparations Wednesday afternoon as a nor'easter approached the area, and warned them to be safe as high winds and sub-zero cold hit eastern Massachusetts.
A snow emergency will be in effect in the city starting at 7 a.m. Thursday, at which time an Emergency Operations Center will also be activated.
Walsh said Boston Centers for Youth and Families would be open to children over age 7, and that parents should visit boston.gov/bcyf for more info on them.
Snow is expected to begin around 4 a.m., and to continue to around 9 p.m.; the storm could dump a total of 8-12 inches of snow on Greater Boston.
"We're facing our first big storm of 2018," Walsh said. "Hopefully it's not a sign of things to come like 2015!"
The mayor said workers in the city should stay home if possible on Thursday.
"City Hall will be open for business tomorrow, but only emergency personnel will be reporting," he said.
Regarding the MBTA, Walsh touted new improvements to the transit system--but said to expect delays.
"I'm confident, but you're thinking when there's a foot of snow on the ground, there's going to be issues with anything," he said. "I would expect there will be some delays tomorrow."
Walsh asked Bostonians to check on their neighbors, and to keep an eye out for anyone who may be disoriented or unprepared for the cold.
"If you see someone who's out in the cold who might need assistance, we're asking you to call 911 directly," Walsh said.
Walsh said that roads and sidewalks in key areas of the city would be pre-treated with salt and ice melt Wednesday night--and that it is essential to get the roads cleared before sub-zero temperatures close in Friday.
"We have snow tomorrow, and then we go right back to the cold again," Walsh said. "I think the biggest challenge is the cold afterward."
He said the city had 40,000 tons of rock salt and 700 pieces of snowfighting equipment ready to hit the streets over the next 24 hours.
Walsh said city operators, who can be reached by calling 311, could answer questions about closings, parking, space savers, and parking restrictions--and that burst pipes could be reported to them.
He also urged citizens to be careful around plows.
"Hopefully we won't get any more of these storms," Walsh said. "One's enough for me."