The Norton Board of Selection approved a request from the Norton emergency management agency deputy director Ray Cord to enact a state of emergency in Norton on Friday.
“We’re asking tonight declaration of a state of emergency for tomorrow afternoon so that Norton has the legal authority to be prepared for the emergency, to respond to the emergency and take steps required under federal and state laws to comply with emergency response,” Cord said. “We’re concerned about power outages, trees down, roadblocks and things of that nature. The National Weather service is calling this a storm of historical proportions.”
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This is a local state of emergency, applicable when a situation occurs that has progressed or is anticipated to progress beyond the capability of regular municipal personnel and resources. The town is legally allowed to be assisted by personnel and resources from contiguous municipalities, to maintain order, control and confine the incident.
Cord said that due to the predictions of wind gusts up to 60 miles per hour, the probability for power outages is high. Cord said that National Grid is working with the town to help stem the issues that left the town without power for an extended period.
“National grid is calling this a level 5 event which is the same as sandy and Irene,” he said. “We’ve got pretty good coverage and an average of two crews per town. I think they’re learning from past mistakes.”
Cord said that there will be seven line crews, 38 tree crews and 41 outside contractors in the four towns covered in Norton’s zone.
Cord said that starting at 12 p.m. on Friday, the LaSalette Shrine in Attleboro will be opening for what they are calling a warming station, which will allow residents without power to warm up and charge their electronic devices. He said if there are extended power outages in the region, LaSalette will begin operation as a shelter.
“The biggest thing we need to be aware of is to stay tuned watch the weather channels and watch the news channels,” Cord said. “Get your shopping done and build up your supplies… Nobody should be on the roads tomorrow afternoon… Stay home, stay bundle up and stay safe.”