Declaring that the city is ready for what may be a historic blizzard, Mayor Thomas M. Menino today canceled school in Boston for Friday and urged people to stay off roads and out of downtown.
The city, the largest in New England, will increase the number of public safety officials on the streets, Menino said, and take other steps to prepare for the snow. Before dawn Friday, 200 plows and salt spreaders will be crisscrossing roads in Boston. By 9 a.m., officials plan to increase the number of plows and salt spreaders to 600.
Menino met Thursday in his City Hall office with 50 top municipal officials to discuss preparations for the storm. The team included Police Commissioner Edward F. Davis, Fire Commissioner Roderick Fraser, and a man introduced as Boston’s snow general, Elmo Baldassari, who as the city’s deputy commissioner of public works oversees snowplows.
Menino seemed confident that his administration was up to the task presented by the storm.
“We’re ready for it,” Menino said before repeating, “The message here is to stay off the public roadways.”