It begins

Somerville Stop & Shop bread

Frank Solensky photographed the bread aisle at the Somerville Stop & Shop this evening.

Meanwhile, Channel 5 reporters tonight warmed up for their team coverage of Snowpocalypse '13. With no snow on the ground to fashion into a snowball, Sean Kelly started a report by holding a tree branch for emphasis. Jack Harper, however, found a sand or dirt pile with a thin coating of snow, to which he could point with the ruler he of course happened to have. He was showing how high snow got in the Blizzard of '78 or something. And Ed Harding urged viewers to charge their tablets and phones now, so they can keep watching Channel 5 online if need be - apparently not thinking that if the power goes out, those viewers won't be able to use their WiFi to watch him.

Ready at the Somers household - for either snowmageddon or aquapocalypseCome snowmageddon or aquapocalypse, Fred Somers is ready.

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Did

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Ed Harding have his "this is serious news" reading glasses on?

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You don't need WiFi to access

You don't need WiFi to access the internet on any phone or tablet that is actually on a cellular network. Pretty much everyone in the first world countries has a data plan now. We're not using WiFi on the T (it doesn't exist) to browse Facebook and upload Instagram snapshots of how terrible our commute is. We're on our cell network.

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Chances are if you don't have

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Chances are if you don't have power in your area, your local cell phone tower won't either...just sayin...

Only the freestanding ones

Most of the towers hereabouts are in church towers or former churches' towers now turned into office complexes.

Fortunately, neither of the two closest towers are on the same circuit as we are, so I don't worry. Weirdly enough, after Sandy, we lost the tower across the river for a couple days (couldn't get reception downstairs) but the uphill tower was just fine.

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Wi-fi only

Lots of people have wi-fi-only devices, not wanting to pay for yet another data plan, especially with wi-fi available in tons of places.
Not to mention, cell reception in our condo sucks.
Just sayin'

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Busting on Ed

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You make fun of Ed for telling people to charge their phones and tablets. You say he wasn't thinking about wifi going out. Silly Ed.
Or maybe Ed knows about cell service, which allows for connectivity without wifi. During Sandy we watched Ch5 streaming coverage when the power went out. Pretty cool I think. Maybe Ed's not so silly after all.

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I would like my halo now

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I spent an hour tonight on the phone with Jet Blue changing flights for six members of my family who are in the Bahamas. They were scheduled to fly back to Boston and arrive here at 4pm.

I spent a half hour on hold plus another half hour rebooking their flight for Sunday afternoon instead.

I called my sister when it was all done and she said that a lot of Bostonians are down there. I asked if they knew about the blizzard. I was surprised when when she answered "I didn't want to spread the news too much until we changed our reservations." Bless her devious little heart.

I hope she enjoys the two extra days down there while I'm up here charging my iPhone using the car adapter.

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I Need a Head Check

A good bit off topic but I need to get the opinions from people who drove in near blizzard conditions in highways before. Before the news of this storm hit, I have been planning to leave Boston for New York on Friday night. If this was another minor snow of this past year or even moderate now, it's deal-able, but now it sounds like it could be conditions that I never seen before.

Looking at the predictions, it seems the conditions that would mean freezing to death in my car will be concentrated around Boston and north. Obviously I'm going to keep track of the reports. But assuming the reports remains roughly the same (or hopefully better). Is it a reasonable plan to just leave Friday early from work at like 3 and find conditions to be reasonable once I reach somewhere like Connecticut as it sounds like a 3-6 incher type storm conditions there? Or is this just way too stupid (and it if just really that dumb to ask, I plead naivete as 1978 is way before my time and my past driving until last year was relatively trivial)?

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Looks like Friday rush will be a bear, but not yet a blizzard

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I suspect it will be a slow slog, but the National Weather Service guys at Tauton (and other local weather folk) seem to think that the worst won't get underway till fairly late Friday.

With all this advance warning, the main streets and highways will be well pre-treated. There will be a lot of people trying to get out of Dodge before the storm hits, and many of them will be needlessly hyper. So expect obnoxious traffic, and plan to take it slow and easy. You'll be fine.

(But make sure your cell is charged, and pack some water, blankets and extra power bars just in case ;)

Earlier the better

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The basic truth is going to be that the earlier you leave, the better your chance of making it without trouble.

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I've done this many times

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If possible, leave tonight. If that's not possible, skip work tomorrow and leave in the morning.

Depending on what Friday brings, it could take you a few hours to get out of Boston at 3pm tomorrow. Once the roads get to the point where people can't go up or down hills, you'll be lucky to do 5 miles per hour. Assuming things are on the lighter side, 3pm will put you in Connecticut traffic at rush hour, anyway.

I would also add that if you don't have snow tires or at least very good all season tires on your car, driving in accumulating snow is a fool's errand.

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leave tonight

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Even if the streets are passable, they will be clogged to a standstill w/like-minded travelers after noon Friday.

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What Lydia said

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I live in Boston and used to work in Natick, about a half-hour commute for me on a normal day. When big snowstorms were a-comin', with all kinds of hype like this one, EVERYONE would leave early. One time it took me about three hours to make the trek home, and that was with reverse commute traffic. I thought I would never top that until the next time when it took me almost five hours to make the trip. I am totally not inflating these times either. If at all possible, take off work tomorrow and leave tonight. Sorry to say, but leaving at 3:00 tomorrow has a strong likelihood of ending up being a total disaster for you.

Head check, as requested

No, it is not reasonable. Leaving work at Friday at 3 and expecting to drive to Connecticut at that point is absofreakingnotly reasonable.

Here's what you may encounter, hour by hour:

3 PM Friday: Gee, that sure is a lot of snow. But at least I'm on the road.
4 PM Friday: Moving right along, made five miles in the past hour. But once I'm out of this traffic it'll be fine.
5 PM Friday: Ah, finally, the Pike. Say, is it getting dark out there?
6 PM Friday: You know, the only thing worse than being stuck in a sea of brake lights is when you can't even see the brake lights in front of you. This is like driving through pea soup.
7 PM Friday: Can you really run out of gas in a traffic jam? Isn't there a plaza around here?
8 PM Friday: If the person in front of me has abandoned his car, is it correct to still call this a traffic jam? How far a walk is it to that plaza?

Is this scenario something you would take in stride and laugh about on Monday? If not, don't go. Because this is what happened to most of my coworkers not too many years ago. I'm not saying it's going to be like 2005, but seriously people abandoned their cars on the mass freaking pike.

Friday PM traffic jams are never reasonable around here. When you add a blizzard, forget about it. If you haven't left by tomorrow morning, don't go.

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True story, Sock Puppet

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It took me hours to get from the Seaport to Dorchester in 05.
I almost abandoned my car on Morrisey Blvd for God's sake. Luckily I made it thru savin Hill and found a gas station.

No joke.

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Leave today!

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Typically in my experience in these situations, traffic will be light tomorrow. However, road conditions deteriorate quickly in CT, especially on Rte 91. And don't even think about the Merritt once the snow starts. Over they years, I've seen a lot of cars hit bu tree branches that fell from snow on that road.

My advice as professional driver: leave tonight if you can, or take Amtrak tomorrow, if you can.

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The Merritt doomway

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I had the pleasure of being on the Merritt during that random snow storm in October 2011, and got to watch the trees fall on the cars. Took about 4 hours to get down it, while listening to the radio repeat that the Merritt was closed.

And yes, I'd like to second that Connecticut does a terrible job of cleaning its roads compared to Mass.

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Thanks everyone for the

Thanks everyone for the responses. I just got a company office wide email that the company will close business operations tomorrow (company snow day!). That means I am no no constrained by any required obligations or sense of guilt for leaving early. I will head out in the morning rather than at 3 or some early compromised afternoon time made to myself.

I'll still keep on eye on the weather and probably stick to a more Westernly then take a hard South (now that I can leave that early, I can now visit my brother at Amherst along the way) than the regular South-Western route through Southern Connecticut.

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Safe passage to you!

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You might even consider spending tonight at your brother's place ... get a solid jump on the mess!

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Go to your brother's after

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Go to your brother's after work, and then take a nice, slow drive down to NYC on Friday morning. If past storms have been any indication, CT might decide to close the interstates early, just to get people off the roads.

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I really wouldn't do it. The

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I really wouldn't do it. The forecast for NY area just changed, and got a little worse than what I read this morning. The weather down here (in NYC) is supposed to go from snow, to rain, then back to snow. Winds are also supposed to be nasty. You're either going to be in whiteout conditions on I-95, or be dealing with lots of downed trees on the Merrit.

Bottled water?

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When has a blizzard ever taken out the water supply? (Exceptions: small towns, private wells, coastal flood zones, etc.)

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Power dies, pipes freeze

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Every had to shut down your water because of frozen pipes?

Ever had your power and heat go out for more than a day?

Might come in handy.

In any case, it is a good idea to have a stash around - I was miserably underprepared for Aquapocalypse and won't be making that same mistake again.

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You know what condoms cost back in the day

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I don't know, we didn't use them.

But I remember when a dime bag cost a dime.

props to dvdoff for getting me in Half Baked frame of mind...

Serious question: What's the

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Serious question: What's the deal with getting water? Why would you lose access to water during a snowstorm?

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