With snow falling sooner than expected, state employees have been released early, Quincy has declared a snow emergency and the MBTA has added an extra commuter boat from Rowe’s Wharf to Hingham as an alternative to driving home.
With snow falling sooner than expected, state employees have been released early and the MBTA has added an extra commuter boat from Rowe’s Wharf to Hingham as an alternative to driving home.
In addition, Quincy has declared a snow emergency, continuing until 10 a.m. Saturday. Drivers can park only on odd-numbered sides of streets without emergency parking restrictions.
Peter Judge, a spokesman for the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency, said state workers have been asked to leave as soon as possible.
He said those who cannot leave right away have been asked to wait until after the height of the storm or use public transportation to prevent a traffic nightmare similar to one in December.
“There will probably be less cars on the road because of school vacation,” Judge said.
“The expectation is there won’t be the level of volume we saw in December.”
Workers were allowed to go home at noon.
The storm is expected to be at its height between 2 and 8 p.m., the heart of the evening rush hour.
Forecasts call for 1 to 2 inches an hour.
The South Shore may get up to eight inches by the time snow stops either tonight or tomorrow morning.
The MBTA has added an extra commuter ferry from Rowe’s Wharf to Hingham to prepare for an increase of riders.
The extra ferry left for Hingham at 2:30 p.m.
Quincy College, Curry College, Bridgewater State College and Massasoit Community College have canceled afternoon and evening classes.
State officials and Gov. Deval Patrick were criticized for waiting too long to release workers during the December storm.
Highways and side roads were jammed and many spent two to three times longer to get home, some over eight hours.
Many ran out of gas, adding to the problems.
Plows could not clear the roadways and some school buses, especially Canton,could not get students home for hours because of bottlenecks on secondary roads.
Judge said the nightmare should not be repeated because many parents stayed home today because, for most communities, students are on vacation.
Judge said others may have taken the day off or worked from home for fear of getting caught in another traffic nightmare.