EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

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February 19, 2014

February brings snow, snow and more snow

Right on the tail of last weekend’s storm, the Merrimack Valley was bombarded by another 71/2 inches of snow yesterday.

So much fell in North Andover that the Joseph Hermann N. Hermann Youth Center, a popular place for young people who are enjoying the week off from school, shut down at 3 p.m. The snow fell so quickly that the new skating rink adjacent to the center was knocked out of action.

Thanks to the February break, schools dodged yet another snow day yesterday. Haverhill Superintendent James Scully said the beginning of yesterday’s storm was difficult to pinpoint.

With many roads still slippery from last Thursday’s storm, it’s likely he would have canceled again yesterday had school been in session, he said. As of now, the last day of school in Haverhill is scheduled for June 18.

“I think we would have called it off yesterday, although the forecasts changed overnight,” Scully said.

David Van Dam, Mayor James Fiorentini’s chief of staff, said the city — like many others in the Merrimack Valley — has already exhausted the roughly $423,000 it set aside in its annual snow and ice account, one of the few places where communities are allowed by state law to run a deficit.

The money is made up in the following fiscal year, which begins July 1. Van Dam said that during the last 10 years, the city has spent an average of about $1.1 million each year on plowing, sanding and salting.

Haverhill police said slippery roads contributed to a rash of both accidents and vehicles sliding off the road. By 11 a.m., police had responded to seven reports and by 2:45 p.m. the number was up to a dozen, including a few reports of disabled vehicles.

North Andover police reported several incidents of minor accidents and cars sliding off the road, according to Lt. Charles Gray. Lawrence interim police Chief James Fitzpatrick said his city experienced a few “slipping and sliding” accidents but there were no serious injuries.

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