Falmouth EMA Plans for Major Winter Storm

NEWS RELEASE - 2015-01

For Immediate Release:  January 26, 2015

For Further Information, contact EMA Director Howard Rice, Jr. at 207-781-2610


Falmouth EMA Plans for Major Winter Storm

The Falmouth Emergency Management (EMA) team met today to discuss plans for the upcoming winter storm.  Town leaders are working together to prepare for the potential for dangerous road conditions, power outages, downed trees and power lines, heavy snow drifts, and high winds. The EMA group discussed severe storms from the past, including the Patriots Day Storm of 2007 and the Blizzard of 2013 to try to predict issues that may arrive with the storm.

Preparations are underway in advance of the potentially dangerous storm expected on Monday night and into Wednesday. Saws, generators, barricades, and snow plows are all in place and ready if needed. Staffing plans for calling in extra help if needed at various departments have been prepared, and a plan on releasing updated information to the public has been crafted.  Crews will be busy trying to keep the roadways clear but with the anticipated high winds associated with this storm, blowing and drifting snow is expected and the roadways may be dangerous.

There is a parking ban in Falmouth from midnight tonight through midnight Wednesday night.  The following will be closed on Tuesday, January 27, 2015:

  • All Falmouth Schools

  • All Falmouth Town Offices

  • Falmouth Transfer Station

  • Falmouth Curb-side Pickup (will occur on Saturday instead)

Falmouth EMA will use a combination of the Maine 2-1-1, the town’s website, news group e-mails, the town’s emergency notification paging system and the town’s EMA hotline to provide updates to the public as needed.  EMA Director Howard Rice encourages residents to use the Falmouth EMA hotline for the latest updates.  The hotline can be reached at (207) 699-5241 and callers will hear a message that is updated routinely with the latest information on road closures, power outages and other important information. 

The Falmouth EMA team is in contact with Cumberland County EMA and is monitoring the latest forecasts and county planning efforts.  EMA Director Rice asks that all Falmouth residents watch the weather forecast very closely over the next several hours and take any precautions as advised.

At this time, Falmouth Emergency Management is also reminding all residents about using generators safely.  Generators should not be operated in a building, which includes a house, shed, or garage.  Running a generator in an enclosed space even briefly can produce high levels of carbon monoxide gas.  Carbon monoxide gas, an odorless and colorless gas, is toxic and can be fatal if inhaled at high levels.  To be safe, Falmouth Emergency Management recommends running a generator at least 15 feet from any occupied building and away from windows and doors.  During snowstorms, residents are encouraged to clear an area for a generator when they shovel or plow their driveways and walkways. This will make it easier to safely place a generator if needed.

Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include headache, nausea, vomiting and loss of coordination.  If anyone is feeling these symptoms they are encouraged to leave the immediate area to get to fresh air and call 9-1-1.  Falmouth EMA recommends residents use carbon monoxide detectors on every level in their house.

Refueling a generator can also pose a hazard due to gasoline being spilled on a hot motor or exhaust.  Use caution refueling any gasoline-powered equipment.  If possible, let the equipment cool down before refueling.  Also be sure to leave an area clear around your generator when it is operating.

The Falmouth EMA team consists of the leaders of Falmouth Public Works, Fire-EMS, Police, Wastewater, Parks and Community Programs, Communications Center, Information Technology, Finance Department, School Department and the Town Manager’s Office.