EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

February 10, 2013

Scenes from the storm


The Eagle-Tribune

---- — BOSTON (AP) — A collection of vignettes and news items, compiled by Associated Press reporters and photographers around Massachusetts during the storm that brought more than 2 feet of snow to some parts of the state and knocked out power to hundreds of thousands:

TOUGH TRAVEL

Gov. Deval Patrick banned drivers from the roads for 24 hours. He said the decision meant emergency crews only had to rescue a few dozen stranded drivers.

“All of us were trying to take lessons from other experiences, including the blizzard of ‘78,” he said.

In that storm, a travel ban wasn’t in place until after the snow hit, and thousands of cars were already stranded.

Now, Patrick said, people need to be patient while things start to get back to normal. They should stay off the roads if they can even though driving is now permitted.

“We have a lot of snow to dispose of and remove, and it will take some time to do that,” he said.

The MBTA, which suspended service at 3:30 p.m. Friday may run some subway trains today. The goal is to restore full service by the Monday morning commute, however a communications tower in Quincy went down during the storm, making full restoration of service a challenge.

Logan International Airport hoped to open a runway yesterday and asked people planning to travel today to contact their airlines for updates.

CROWDS GATHER

The streets of Boston were mostly empty Saturday morning because of the waist-high snow. Plows that had gone through made some streets passable but piled even more snow atop cars parked on the city’s narrow streets.

Wind blew huge chunks of snow and slush from the tops of skyscrapers and they landed with a thunk, a startling sound in the quiet. Roads were not plowed in Financial District, a low priority because workers were off for the weekend.

As the afternoon approached and the wind died down and snow tapered off, residents began to emerge and were out taking photographs in public spaces like Copley Square and Boston Common. The crowd was similar to what it usually is on other days.

But because sidewalks were impassable, they walked or cross-country skied down streets, making the job harder for plow drivers.

GETTING THROUGH IT

Westborough, in eastern Worcester County, was buried by about two feet of snow. Most residents said they hadn’t seen a storm like this, at least not since the blizzard of 1978. Worcester had some of the highest snow totals in the state.

“I survived the blizzard of ‘78, I can survive this,” said Steve Fouracre, 44. “I’m waiting for all these plows to do their work. They’ll probably be done just in time for work Monday. Yeah, thanks,” he added sarcastically.

A NEW ARRIVAL

The Massachusetts National Guard and Worcester emergency workers teamed up to deliver a baby at the height of the storm.

Maj. Gen. Scott Rice said Saturday that the baby arrived at about 3 a.m. and everyone was fine. He didn’t release details about the family.

“You can’t get much better than that,” he said.

IN THE DARK

At the height of the storm, more than 400,000 people were without power, but those numbers were starting to drop as the snow slowed Saturday afternoon.

Most were in southeastern Massachusetts and Cape Cod, where there was wet heavy snow and winds gusting over 75 mph.

National Grid Massachusetts president Marcy Reed said hardest hit areas of Norfolk and Plymouth counties may be offline for a few days. She said outages haven’t topped recent storms such as Sandy and Irene.

An NStar spokesman also said some customers are likely to be out for several days.

The Pilgrim Nuclear Power Plant in Plymouth shut down after losing off-site power. Authorities said there was no threat to public safety.