- Associated Press - Monday, January 26, 2015

FRAMINGHAM, Mass. (AP) - Gov. Charlie Baker said Monday that the latest forecasts suggest that virtually all residents will see at least two feet of snow, and many areas will get as much as three feet from the blockbuster storm bearing down on New England.

The governor, in office less than three weeks, visited the state’s emergency management bunker in Framingham and said the best thing residents could do during the storm is stay inside. Earlier in the day, he declared a state of emergency and ordered a ban on all non-essential motor vehicle travel starting at midnight Tuesday.

“I think the most important message … is to get ready to hunker down and try to stay put to the fullest extent possible unless you are involved in some kind of emergency activity Tuesday,” Baker said.

The governor planned to spend the night at a friend’s home near the bunker, explaining that while he would be able to get home to Swampscott Monday night, he was not sure if he would be able to get back for a scheduled briefing early Tuesday.

Baker did not say when he expected the travel ban to end, but raised the possibility that it could be lifted in certain parts of the state before others.

The MBTA also plans to suspend all service at midnight and no flights will be leaving Logan International Airport after 7:30 p.m. Monday. Ferry service to Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket was also suspended for Tuesday.

Strong winds from the storm are expected to cause widespread power outages and Baker says it could take several days before all power is restored.

Coastal flooding is also a major threat during high tide on Tuesday. While no mandatory evacuations have been ordered, Baker said residents in coastal areas prone to flooding should think carefully about their situation and consult with local officials.

The governor has called up 500 members of the National Guard and many have been deployed to flood-prone areas.

Shelters have been set up in about 100 communities around Massachusetts.

While this is the first major storm for Baker, he said the state’s emergency management personnel have plenty of experience and “know what they need to do and know where they need to be. “

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