State Officials: Go Home, It’s Snowing

The Acting Governor says either leave work early, or stay late, to avoid gridlock during today's snow in the Boston area.

Photo By Steve Annear

Photo By Steve Annear

The snow has just started to fall in the Boston area, but already, officials have cancelled after-school programs and are asking businesses to let their employees escape the city a bit earlier than usual.

With a winter warning put into affect by the National Weather Service, and up to eight inches of snowfall expected, the commute could get tricky Tuesday afternoon, so people are being warned to plan accordingly.

The snow is expected to be the worst when drivers are typically hitting the roads to head home from work. “Looking at the latest guidance the afternoon and evening commute will be a difficult one,” according to National Weather Service’s Facebook page. “Visibility will be down to one-quarter of a mile at times.”

Because of that, and the request to let employees go home, the HOV lane on 93 will be opened early, and additional MBTA service will be provided.

Acting Governor William Galvin, who assumes the role since Governor Deval Patrick is in Asia, said non-emergency state employees should be released early due to the impending storm. He asked that other businesses do the same if possible.

“Because of deteriorating weather conditions I have made a determination to release all non-emergency state employees early at 1:30 p.m. today. I am also asking private employers in the Greater Boston area to consider releasing their employees earlier in order for them to reach their homes by 4 p.m. when the intensity of the storm is likely to make travel difficult. As an alternative other travel could be deferred until after 7 p.m.,” Galvin said.

Although taking the MBTA hasn’t been the best option so far this winter, Mayor Tom Menino is telling people to consider using public transit if they are trying to get around, to avoid adding to the expected cluster of car traffic on city streets and surrounding highways.

“Today’s storm poses a threat for gridlock during the evening commute,” Menino said. “Our Snow Team is prepared to respond and get our roads clear. We’re asking employees in the city to either wait until the end of the storm to travel home, or stagger their release times to avoid gridlock and allow our public works crews to do their jobs.”

According to the National Weather Service, a winter storm “warning,” which is issued when an average of six or more inches of snowfall is expected in a twelve hour period, is in affect until 1 a.m. Wednesday, with the heaviest snow falling after 4 p.m., and finishing up by 10 p.m.