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Patrick Declares State Of Emergency, Announces Travel Ban In Mass.

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BOSTON (CBS) – Gov. Deval Patrick declared a state of emergency in Massachusetts Friday afternoon for the blizzard that could bring up to 3 feet of snow.

He also announced he has signed an executive order to ban all travel on all roads in the state starting at 4 p.m. Friday.

Check: Radar | Current Conditions | Weather Blogs | Forecast Maps

There are some exceptions to the ban, including emergency workers, those who work in hospitals and media, and others required to be at their jobs.

A plow flipped over on Washington Street in Mendon (Photo from Paul and Linda Morris)

A plow flipped over on Washington Street in Mendon (Photo from Paul and Linda Morris)

The governor said rapid snowfall of 2-3 inches per hour will make for, “extremely dangerous conditions,” and will “make safe travel nearly impossible.”

This is the first time that a Massachusetts governor has issued an executive order like this since the Blizzard of 1978.

But back then it was put in place after the storm.

Patrick did not say when this ban would be lifted.

If you don’t have an exemption and you’re caught on the road, the penalty could be as steep as a $500 fine or, at worst, a year in jail.

Your Questions: Ask The Weather Team

At a news conference at the MEMA bunker in Framingham, Patrick told reporters it’s not about the punishment, they simply need the roads clear during the blizzard.

“Essentially we want everyone off the road,” MEMA spokesman Peter Judge told WBZ-TV’s Jon Keller.  “We’re talking common sense here.”

Gallery: WBZ Storm Forecast Maps

Public transportation will not be an option either. The MBTA is shutting down at 3:30 p.m.

Here is the full text of Governor Patrick’s executive order:

I, Deval L. Patrick, Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, pursuant to the power provided by Chapter 639 of the Acts of 1950 do hereby issue the following order:

There shall be a ban on motor vehicle travel beginning at 4:00 PM today and continuing until further notice. This travel ban shall not apply to the following: public safety vehicles and public safety workers, including contract personnel, public works vehicles and public works workers, including contract personnel; government officials conducting official business, utility company vehicles and utility workers; healthcare workers who must travel to and from work in order to provide essential health services; news media, travel necessary to maintain and deliver critical private sector services such as energy, fuel supplies and delivery, financial systems and the delivery of critical commodities, travel to support business operations that provide critical services to the public, including gasoline stations, food stores and hardware stores. Given this 8th day of February in the year of our Lord two thousand and thirteen at 12:15PM.

DEVAL L. PATRICK, GOVERNOR
Commonwealth of Massachusetts

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