---- — With a fast-moving winter storm expected to rock the Merrimack Valley last night and into this morning, communities took no chances preparing for the worst, declaring emergency parking bans and deploying extra patrols.
The National Weather Service declared a winter storm warning until 1 p.m. today and area forecasters said the storm, which was expected to begin yesterday around 5 p.m. and end late this morning, could dump 6 or more inches of light, fluffy snow in the region.
“We are going to miss the worst of it,” said Ryan Breton of Atkinsonweather.com. “That will be in the South Shore and Cape Cod. But it will still be significant.”
According to the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, 865 crews were at work last night into this morning, plowing and treating state roads.
Locally, many communities were sending out Department of Public Works employees and private contractors to do the same. Local police were enforcing parking bans, for more effecting plowing.
The region has already seen about 43 inches of snow before this storm. At this point last year, the total was at 19 inches.
The storm’s winds are expected to hit the seacoast from the north/northeast, a direction that typically causes moderate erosion along local beachfronts.
Two high tides will occur during the storm — this morning’s 2:41 tide and another at 2:58 p.m. today. By the time the afternoon tide occurs, the winds are expected to subside. The ocean conditions are predicted not to be as severe as the storm that hit Jan. 2-3.
Breton said temperatures were expected to remain cold through the storm and throughout the week.
“It will probably be in the teens through Friday,” he said. “By Saturday, it will get back up to 30 degrees.”