Storm preparations were underway on Monday morning, ahead of the incoming nor'easter that's expected to bring significant impacts to New England, including notable snowfall, heavy winds and potential power outages.
Trucks were seen early Monday morning lining up at the salt pile in Chelsea, Massachusetts, as crews geared up for the storm.
Snowfall in the western part of Massachusetts could exceed 18 inches, but along the coast where the storm is expected to begin as rain, the snow totals could be 3 or 4 inches.
A winter storm warning was due to take effect Monday evening and last through Wednesday morning for southern sections of Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont as well western Massachusetts and parts of Connecticut and Rhode Island.
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Power outages likely across Massachusetts
As road crews prepare to treat streets and highways across the state, it will be up to power companies to help keep the lights on during the gusty winds and the heavy snowfall expected over the next couple of days.
Power provider Eversource said the company is even bringing crews from out of state, and they're expected to arrive on Monday. Over 1,000 line and tree crews are set to be prepositioned across Massachusetts, working around the clock, especially in the aftermath of the storm.
More on the nor'easter
Eversource officials held a news conference Monday morning to address their preparations.
"When you have events like this, resources become difficult to get," Eversource Regional President of Electric Operations Craig Hallstrom said. "So we started committing to external resources on Friday. We've gone out to Texas, Florida, Canada, all the midwestern states, Michigan, and here at Eversource we have a fleet of vehicles, about 100 line trucks, that we just parked off to the side, they're fully tooled, they have materials in them, and then we fly in crews."
Eversource has also urged individuals to prepare for the storm, explaining that if the power goes out, it could take some time before it returns.
“When you think about those high wind gusts, particularly along the coast, it's just not safe for us to put our crews up in bucket truck," Chris McKinnon, an Eversource spokesperson said. "So they might not be able to get up into the air to make those repairs to the overhead lines for several hours, or there could be even more extensive time if the winds just don't die down there.”
The energy company has warned people to not approach downed wires, and to report them immediately to 911 and report any outage online at Eversource.com or by calling 800-592-2000 in eastern Massachusetts.
Another power provider, National Grid, issued a news release on Monday morning to also say that it was gearing up. National Grid officials said that the company has secured more than 1,000 field-based crews and over 3,000 personnel as part of the company's emergency response operations.
“National Grid has been monitoring the forecasts closely for multiple days. We have secured additional crews and personnel across Massachusetts who are ready to respond as quickly and safely as possible to any impact this storm may bring,” said Tanya Moniz-Witten, Vice President for Electric Operations for New England, in a news release.
People getting ready
As the rain fell in Worcester Monday, it was time to gear up for one more blast of winter weather.
"I'm picking up salt," said Janet Medina. "I'm renting a home, so walkway, stairs, sidewalk, our responsibility, so trying to be safe out there."
People were eager to be prepared for whatever they find out their front door in the morning.
"Front steps are always a problem," said David Chearo, who was buying ice melt Monday. "Always slippery, we want to make sure they're ready for the mail carrier in the morning."
Rocky's Ace Hardware still has snow blowers and ice melt for sale, but they had been trying to move on to spring, so they've stocked up on fertilizer. But Mother Nature's not ready to make the leap to a new season quite yet.
"I have a snow thrower and a grown son and a boyfriend at home, so hopefully with all those, they'll take care of it," said Amy Drelinger.
With the storm rolling in, city officials say there's not much they could do Monday night -- any salt that would be put down would just be washed away by the rain.
"Because the rain's going to be coming down at a pretty good clip, you can't go out and start salting until I have snow to catch it and hold it on the road," said DPW Commissioner Jay Fink.
MBTA gearing up for winter storm
During a live interview on NBC10 Boston on Monday morning, MBTA Interim General Manager Jeff Gonneville said that the T was ready for the storm.
"In between the seasons, particularly in the spring summer months, we do a tremendous amount of planning in preparation to be ready for these inclement weather events and how to manage through these storms," Gonneville said. "So we will be following those procedures and those protocols we have done over previous winters."
NH officials also busy preparing
In New Hampshire, where some parts of the state could see up to 18 inches of snow, emergency officials are already busy preparing for the approaching storm.
“If you must travel, make sure your vehicle’s emergency kit is well stocked and includes a flashlight, food, water and a blanket,” Robert Buxton, the director of the New Hampshire Department of Safety’s Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, said in a statement.
State officials urged people to consider working or schooling from home to allow crews to safely clear the roads. Those who must drive are reminded to slow down and move over for emergency vehicles and not to crowd plows, and to clear all snow and ice off their cars.
In New Hampshire, the storm will hit on Election Day for town officeholders. Nearly 20 communities postponed, while others reminded voters that they could vote by absentee ballot on Monday instead.
Similar back-to-back Election Day storms in 2017 and 2018 sparked widespread confusion about who could reschedule elections. Lawmakers have since changed the law to allow town moderators to postpone elections if the National Weather Service issues a storm warning. For Tuesday, such warnings have been issued for at least parts of seven of the state’s 10 counties.
The Associated Press contributed to this report