North Andover Braces for Blizzard [VIDEO]
The town is preparing for the massive storm.
As weather forecasts predict a blizzard to hit the region Friday, North Andover spent Thursday preparing for the storm.
The blizzard -- expected to dump more than two feet of snow on the Merrimack Valley Friday and Saturday -- could be the biggest snowstorm the region has seen since 2010.
We could see snow falling at 3-to-4 inches per hour and wind gusts of more than 20 miles per hour.
Division of Public Works Director Bruce Thibodeau met with Patch Thursday afternoon and said his department was getting ready to treat the roads with salt before the snow arrives.
Plows will be out clearing the roads throughout the storm, and Thibodeau is asking residents to stay off the roads. Friday afternoon, there are expected to be white-out conditions that could have drivers disoriented with no visibility.
North Andover Police Lt. Charles Gray said the Police Department is preparing as well.
"We'll have extra staffing available [throughout the storm], on dispatch as well as patrol officers," Gray said. "We'd like people to stay off the roads unless they absolutely have to go somewhere."
Police will be on patrol with 4-wheel drive vehicles around town, and cruisers will mostly be kept downtown where the roads are not as tough to travel.
Market Basket in North Andover was packed with people Thursday afternoon, stocking up on food for the storms. The checkout lines were so backed up that employees were handing out free cupcakes and coffee to keep customers calm.
There may also be widespread power outages. National Grid issued a statement Thursday saying the company has already started preparing for the storm and assigning crews to work on outages in the area.
Residents should stock up on flashlights and batteries and charge phones fully tonight.