Given certain weather conditions, bridges could close during a disaster [Letter to the Editor]

Editor's note: the following letter was written in response to "Report that evacuation plan will close bridges is false" by Walter Brooks on May 11, 2012. See Paul Rifkin's photos from the Mother's Day anti-nuclear protest here. We have a poll on our homepage :
Should the Canal Bridges ever be closed?

To the Editor,

Many of us were bothered, to say the least, about your article pertaining to the planned demonstration at the Sagamore Bridge, but I feel that you  misstated and further, that you mislead, by a few facts in presenting it.  I, as part of Occupy Falmouth and Cape Downwinders, planned to demonstrate and help make citizens (not just  Cape Cod citizens) aware of the lack of a plan for evacuation from the Cape in case of a nuclear accident. 

Fukashima, Japan awakened in us a sense of fear because of the similarity to the design of Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station  and situations arising after a natural weather disaster.  Not in terms of a tsunami, which will probably never occur, but because of hurricanes, with winds of at least 70 miles an hour which have occurred many times and at which time bridges have been closed.  And that is the only condition that is mentioned in Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency, Nuclear Preparedness Committee, Cape Cod Emergency Traffic Plan publication. 

But, it was stated and reported in 1988 in hearings before Senator Edward Kennedy with the NRC that the Bourne Bridge would be closed and all traffic re-routed to the Sagamore Bridge.  FEMA stated there was NO evacuation plan, CCETP states the same thing.  

THAT is what brought all of the participants together at the Sagamore Bridge Sunday, Mother's Day.  I was given the thumbs up, the thank yous  and horn blowing enthusiastic support by hundreds and hundreds of passing cars caught in a very polite mess of cars leaving the Cape........one exodus that  could never be compared to a terrified, panicked, escaping crowd if there were ever even a hint of nuclear disaster brought about at the Entergy Corporation owned plant in Plymouth. 

Plymouth residents were "privileged" to receive a calendar because they were within a 10 mile Emergency Zone.  The corporation fulfilled its duty in regard to the health and safety of the town it sits in.   The corporation, identified as a person, doesn't give a damn about people.  The STATE is the one endowed with our safety.  And Governor Patrick KNOWS we don't have a plan.  We have to inform and make a plea to Governor Patrick that we, the people count.  We entrusted him with the ability to do what is right for us.  The first thing he can do is not to allow the re-licensing of the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Plant.  This a a 40-year-old structure identified as faulted, shut down once before because of the inadequacies that exist.

And you, Mr. Brooks, can do a public service by informing, if not supporting, local groups who are trying to do just that by getting the message out there.

Janet Azarovitz
West Falmouth, MA

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