NEWBURYPORT, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) – Efforts are being made to protect residents living in areas of Massachusetts where the winter weather could be worse than in other parts.
The National Weather Service is predicting snowfall accumulations of 18 to 24 inches across eastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Plymouth County could see more than two feet of snow.
In response to the severe winter conditions, the Salvation Army of Newburyport will be opening as a warming center for those seeking shelter from the storm. The agency believes these snowfall totals to be record breaking and is expecting power outages throughout the day on Saturday.
Read More: Weekend Storm Preparations Underway
The center will be open to anyone from Newburyport and surrounding communities including Plum Island, where residents are still recovering after a storm brought high tides only eleven days ago.
“We’re expecting wave heights to be much higher than the walls so we’re still going to get inundated with water,” said Mark Wright who was stacking rocks and sand against the foundation of his home at Reservation Terrace.
“There’s some fatigue that sets in and then it starts to feel like PTSD,” said Mark’s wife Lila. “Before the storm even comes you’re starting to realize, ‘oh here we go again. I don’t know if I want to do this again.’”
The Newburyport Police Department on Facebook strongly encouraged Plum Island residents to relocate to higher ground before the storm starts to move in. They said emergency workers may have a hard time reaching people once streets are flooded and access is blocked.
The Salvation Army of Newburyport’s center will be open starting Friday at 5:00 p.m. and remain open until Monday at 9:00 a.m. However, it will stay open if additional needs are requested. The center is located at 40 Water Street in Newburyport and social distancing and masks will be required.
Other Salvation Army locations across the state are working their local emergency management to open up warming centers if needed. Communities including Weymouth, Cape Cod and Fitchburg are working with regional centers to provide food and meal drops. More information can be found online.
WBZ’s Kendall Buhl (@WBZKendall) spoke to some residents in Plum Island: