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Bay State Digs Out From Blizzard '05




Storm Dumps More Than 2 Feet Of Snow In Some Towns


POSTED: 6:42 pm EST January 23, 2005

UPDATED: 7:34 pm EST January 23, 2005


BOSTON -- The blizzard that slammed Massachusetts dumped more than 2 feet of snow and brought hurricane-strength wind gusts, forcing school cancellations for at least two days in some communities.





NewsCenter 5's Janet Wu reported that the snow buried cars and brought Logan International Airport to a standstill. As dusk approached, however, many of Boston's main roads were cleared.


"The issue we have now is people shoveling out and throwing the snow back into the streets. We are just asking folks to help us do a better job. You shouldn't do that," Boston Mayor Tom Menino said.


Menino said it will likely take several days to dig out from the storm and he canceled school on both Monday and Tuesday for Boston Public School students. He also said there will be no trash pickup in the city on Monday. [Hundreds of Bay State schools will be closed Monday. Check our closings list.]


More than 300 cars were towed from the streets of Boston and at least 3,000 parking tickets were issued, but Menino said that most residents are cooperating with his plea to stay off the streets. The parking ban in Boston will stay in effect until Monday. The mayor's hotline for residents' non-emergency questions is 1-800-391-4039.


Jimmy Robichaud, of Boston left his car parked on the street and said that it would take him at least two hours to dig out his car.


"I wasn't really thinking," he said. "I didn’t think it was going to be like this."


Only essential city employees were urged to go to work on Monday, and Menino told businesses to let their employees work from home where possible.



"We are asking businesses in our city to have a reduced workforce tomorrow so that the public works crews can continue their job of moving the snow," Menino said.


The mayor also asked residents to dig out the fire hydrants in front of their homes and businesses.


After checking out the conditions, Gov. Mitt Romney asked some state employees to stay home.


"I am going to ask state workers in some counties of the state not to come to work -- basically, the counties along the coast -- Essex, Plymouth, Bristol, Middlesex, Suffolk, the Cape and Islands, Norfolk, but folks will be going to work in the state offices in Worcester, Berkshire, Hampden and Hampshire and Franklin counties," Romney said.


All of the county courts in eastern Massachusetts will be closed Monday.


Winthrop, Mass., was one of the hardest hit coastal communities, where there were whiteout conditions for most of Sunday morning. The state of emergency and parking ban made the community a virtual ghost town.


Police officers were forced to patrol the town on their personal sport utility vehicles after the brutal cold and high snowdrifts stopped many patrol cars in their tracks.


A number of firefighters and police officers manned town plows Sunday night, giving weary Department of Public Works employees a much-needed break.


"This is what it comes down to. It is what it is all about, using the resources the town has to offer to get the job done," plow operator Mark LeCalir said.


Some side streets had snowdrifts 6- to 7-feet high. On Winthrop Street, neighbors helped to dig each other out.


"That's Mark. He is terrific. Johnny came over and did the steps. We help each other," one resident said.


On the South Shore, snow continued to fall Sunday night, where the waves along the shore jumped up to 30 feet in the air.


"People shouldn't be out driving at all. I have a plow, but there are a lot of cars that shouldn't be out there," plow operator Mark LeCalir said.


Meanwhile, there were thousands of customers without power on the South Shore and Cape Cod.


NStar said that all the snow is making it hard to get to some of its 16,000 customers without electricity, and Mass Electric has more than 1,000 customers without power.


MassPort officials at Logan said that they hoped to get at least one runway open by late Sunday night.









Gov. Declares Snow State Of Emergency



National Guard Activated; Coastal Evacuations Possible

M.R.F. Buckley, Staff Writer


POSTED: 6:34 pm EST January 22, 2005

UPDATED: 11:47 pm EST January 22, 2005


BOSTON -- As the Bay State hunkered down for a nasty blizzard that's expected to dump up to 2 feet of snow in some areas, Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney declared a state of emergency, saying coastal town evacuations may be necessary.



Romney made the declaration just as the snow began to fall about 4 p.m. Saturday. As he became swiftly covered with snow, Romney made the announcement at a DPW facility in Lexington, saying with a full moon, there could be critically dangerous conditions for coastal residents.


"The snow is falling not in inches but in feet, we also have a full moon and that means a tidal surge. We expect 3 to 6 feet above normal high tide. That could be a problem on the coast. We're expecting high wind gusts. Very, very high winds gusts. With 4-to 6-feet surges above normal high tide, it could represent a very real problem for a number of homeowners. Shelters are being opened and the reason we're activating the National Guard is to be able to help in sheltering people who need to evacuate and find themselves on higher ground," Romney said.


As plowing and sanding trucks loaded up on sanding materials to begin their runs, the governor warned residents to stay off the roads so that DPW crews can deal with the huge amounts of snow that are anticipated.


"We need people off the roads. Not just tonight, but also tomorrow. With the snow anticipated falling at such a high rate, our plows can't possibly keep up, they'll probably be working right through the night and again right through tomorrow to get things ready for Monday," Romney said.


State DPW officials said they had about 2,000 pieces of equipment on the roads at the start of the snow storm. They have access to more than 5,000 and said, at the height of the storm they may have as many as 4,000 out trying to clear the roads.


Boston Mayor Thomas Menino also declared a state of emergency in the city in order to get residents to clear their cars off the streets so plows can do their work.



"The size and intensity of the storm requires us to declare a snow emergency beginning at 4 p.m. this afternoon," Menino said. He said the key to managing public safety in the city during the storm has everything to do with managing automobiles.


"The automobile, and what you do with the automobile before you go to sleep, is going to be a big factor in how we can make our city safe for everybody," said DPW Commissioner Joseph Cassaza.


"Let the public works departments do their job. It's important that we stay off ... no double-parking, no parking at fire hydrants or cross-walks. And also, during the snow storm and afterward, please, please dig out your fire hydrants," Menino said.


Added to that list, he said, there is no parking on main thoroughfares and no throwing snow back out onto plowed streets.


Both Romney and Menino were asking Bay State businesses to voluntarily close down by 11 p.m. Saturday to ensure that employees get off the roads and home safe during the storm.


In communities across the Bay State, blizzard warnings and snow emergencies prompted residents to flock to grocery and hardware stores to stock up for the kinds of provisions that many remember lacking during the notorious Blizzard of 1978.


In Winthrop, Mass., a coastal community along the North Shore, a main thoroughfare was shut down completely as waves battered sea walls. On the South Shore, in Scituate, Mass., fishermen raced to get their boats in safe harbors before fierce seas hammered the coast. In Plymouth, plow drivers were barely able to keep up as thick bands pounded the area and swirling winds filled streets with snow.


The National Weather Service has issued a blizzard warning until 6 p.m. Sunday evening. Winds are expected to be over 35 mph, with gusts over 60 to 70 mph. Snow is expected to fall at 1 to 3 inches per hour during the height of the storm and visibility will be less than 1/4 of a mile.


During high tide between 10 and 11 a.m. Sunday morning, there could be very strong winds and coastal flooding with damage. More than 2 feet of snow is expected along the South Shore, Cape Cod and the islands, with ranges of 1 to 2 feet inside the Boston, Interstate 495 belt, and 6 to 12 inches further north to Nashua, N.H.








Blizzard Warning In Effect Saturday To Sunday



Travelers Urged To Stay Off Roads


POSTED: 8:06 am EST January 22, 2005

UPDATED: 4:33 pm EST January 22, 2005


BOSTON -- A deep freeze will turn into deep snow as a massive storm moves across New England starting Saturday afternoon.



The National Weather Services says that by sundown, the storm is expected to track southeast of Nantucket, with snow starting across western Rhode Island and Southern Worcester Country this afternoon.


It is forecast to bring blizzard conditions from the Interstate 495 corridor and the Massachusetts Turnpike to the south coasts of Massachusetts and Rhode Island.


A blizzard warning will be in effect from 5 p.m. Saturday afternoon to 6 p.m. Sunday.


Forecasters say a powerful nor'easter will deliver a one-two punch of heavy snow and strong winds lasting into Sunday morning. The storm has the potential to produce near-blizzard conditions from the Route 95 corridor to the Cape and Islands.


At the height of the storm, snow may be falling at rates of 3 inches an hour.


Motorists across southern New England are being urged to complete their travel plans by Saturday morning, or postpone travel until Sunday afternoon.


Six to 12 inches are expected in Boston and points west, with upward of 1 to 2 feet south of the city and across southeastern Massachusetts, Cape Cod and the Islands.


Clouds will increase across the region and snow will develop across southwestern New England by late Saturday afternoon and then spread throughout the rest of southern New England during the early evening. The snow will become heavy quickly.


Blizzard or near blizzard conditions will affect all of Connecticut, Rhode Island and much of Massachusetts Saturday night into Sunday.


Snow will fall at a rate of 2 to 3 inches per hour at times Saturday night and be accompanied by winds gusting to 50 mph in the interior and to 60 mph or more along the immediate coast.


Travel is likely to become downright dangerous across southern New England Saturday evening and remain so into Sunday morning. Anyone with plans that include travel should ensure that they are completed by dark Saturday.


Accompanying wind chills well below zero can mean life-threatening conditions for anyone who becomes stranded Saturday night or Sunday morning.


In addition, a storm surge of around 3 feet and waves of 20 to 30 feet just off the east coast will result in coastal flooding along the Massachusetts east coast around the Sunday morning high tide. A number of shore roads will likely become impassable for a time Sunday morning.


The powerful storm will develop off the mid-Atlantic coast late Saturday and pass just southeast of Nantucket Sunday morning.


Despite the recent cold snap, state officials are still warning about the dangers of thin ice on area lakes and ponds.


Massachusetts Emergency Management Director Cristine McCombs said fluctuating temperatures make ice conditions uncertain for skating, ice fishing and other winter sports.


Instead, people are urged to use recreational skating areas provided by various cities and towns.


If you do venture out onto pond and lake ice, MEMA is issuing the following tips: Never go out on the ice alone, keep pets on a leash and beware of ice covered with snow.


The snow can insulate the ice from fully freezing.


Officials also say that ice forming over flowing waters like lakes and rivers is generally 15 percent weaker.




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Blizzard Slows Northeast Travel to Crawl





BOSTON (AP) - A howling blizzard slammed the Northeast on Sunday with more than 2 feet of snow and hurricane-strength wind gusts, halting air travel for thousands of people, keeping others off slippery highways and burying parked cars under deep drifts.


Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and Rhode Island Gov. Don Carcieri both declared states of emergency.


Up to 29 inches of snow fell north of Boston, parts of New Hampshire got 2 feet, New York's Catskills collected at least 20 inches and 18 inches fell on parts of Connecticut, New Jersey, Rhode Island and the eastern tip of New York's Long Island. The weather system had earlier piled a foot of snow across parts of Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana and northern Ohio.


At least six deaths were linked to the weather, three in Ohio, two in Wisconsin and one in Pennsylvania.


Wind gusted to 84 mph on Nantucket and the entire island off the southeast coast of Massachusetts and its 9,400 winter customers were plunged into darkness Sunday. On the mainland, some 16,000 customers lost power, the utility InStar said. Smaller outages were reported elsewhere around the Northeast.


Because the wind blowing off the ocean coincided with a full moon and high tide, coastal communities were warned of flooding.


``There's a lot of self-evacuations going on. People simply got out of Dodge,'' Peter Judge, spokesman for the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency, said Sunday morning. National Guard troops helped evacuate part of Scituate, 20 miles south of Boston, but morning high tide receded without significant flooding, he said.


As state and city officials urged residents to stay off the roads, many people tried to take the storm in stride.


Bill Bush, 32, waded through drifts across the deserted Boston Common to pick up some things at his office for a trip Monday, then headed home for Sunday's AFC Championship game between the New England Patriots and the Pittsburgh Steelers.


``I figured it's early and it's nice to get out to see the snow before everyone dirtied it up,'' he said. ``There's nowhere to go, so I'll just grab some friends to come over to watch the game.''


For others, towering snowdrifts and whiteout conditions wiped out travel plans.


Boston's Logan International Airport closed early Sunday because snowplow crews couldn't keep up with the blinding snow.


``It's more likely we'll open tomorrow morning,'' said Phil Orlandella, a spokesman for the airport that normally has 900 flights on a Sunday.


Logan's shutdown meant Shawn Simmons, 28, of Nashua, N.J., was stuck at Dulles International Airport outside Washington on his return from a vacation in South America.


``Coming from Brazil, where it was 80 degrees, to 14 degrees and snow up here, is such a pain,'' said Simmons, who planned to find a train to take him home.


Nearly 500 flights were canceled Sunday morning at the New York metropolitan area's Newark, Kennedy and LaGuardia airports, in addition to about 700 that were grounded Saturday, Port Authority officials said.


Cassie Szczotka of Marietta, Ga., wound up at a motel in Trenton, N.J., late Saturday after trying all day to get from Atlanta to Fort Dix, N.J., to see her husband, Capt. Chris Szczotka, who is about to be deployed to Iraq for 16 months.


``You have no idea,'' an exhausted Szczotka said Sunday of her trip, which included canceled and diverted flights, two trains and being stranded with a 7-year-old and a toddler at the Trenton train station until a local resident drove her to the motel. She rented a car Sunday and hoped to see her husband before he went back on duty Monday morning.


Philadelphia's airport was open again Sunday, after a shutdown and flight cancellations on Saturday stranded hundreds of travelers at the terminal overnight, but more than 70 departures were canceled. Nearly 600 flights were canceled Saturday at Chicago's O'Hare International.


For others, the storm brought ideal conditions for skiing, snowboarding and sledding.


``Once everyone shovels out, we're going to have a great day, a record breaker,'' said Rod Taylor, owner of Woodbury Ski Area in Woodbury, Conn. ``People see the snow and they get excited.''



01/23/05 15:28




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Blizzard slams Northeast



At least 15 deaths blamed on storm


Monday, January 24, 2005 Posted: 11:34 AM EST (1634 GMT)




BOSTON, Massachusetts (AP) -- Boston's airport partially reopened Monday, but schools and courthouses were closed in many areas as the Northeast struggled to recover from the weekend's blizzard.


The storm dumped more than 3 feet of snow on Massachusetts, and drifts were piled up to the eaves of some one-story buildings.


Frustrated travelers waited for transportation after a weekend in which hundreds of airline flights were canceled.


Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney asked nonessential state workers in the eastern part of the state not to come to work, and Rhode Island Gov. Don Carcieri closed all state and municipal offices Monday. School closings were reported from Maine to parts of Virginia.


At least 15 deaths were linked to the weather: three in Connecticut, three in Ohio, three in Wisconsin, two in Pennsylvania, and one each in Maryland, Delaware, Iowa and Massachusetts.


States of emergency were declared in Massachusetts, Rhode Island and New Jersey.


Among those whose court appearances were delayed: "Survivor" star Richard Hatch, who had faced arraignment in Rhode Island in a tax case, and defrocked priest Paul Shanley, who faced trial on abuse charges in Boston.


On Massachusetts' Nantucket island, where an 84 mph wind gust was reported, the storm plunged the entire island into darkness until most service was restored Sunday night. The island's fire department worked to reach to reach people at risk in areas cut off by drifts up to 6 feet high.


"We just don't have the equipment to handle that amount of snow," said Nantucket deputy fire chief Mark McDougall.


Two eastern Massachusetts communities -- Salem and Plymouth -- got 38 inches of snow each, according to the National Weather Service. Parts of New Hampshire got 2 feet, New York's Catskills collected at least 20 inches and more than a foot fell in parts of New Jersey. Earlier, the weather system had piled a foot of snow across parts of Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana and northern Ohio.


The main road on Cape Cod, U.S. 6, was reopened during the night but the pavement was snow-covered and traffic was slow, said Barnstable police Sgt. Sean Sweeney, who had to spend the night at a hotel because power was out at his home.


Other major roads were restricted to a single lane of traffic, many secondary roads remained impassable and the Cape Cod Times did not publish a Monday edition.


"The plows could not keep up with (the snow)," Sweeney said. "We were getting 60 mph winds."


Boston's Logan International Airport was shut down for nearly 30 hours until crews were able to reopen one runway at 8 a.m. Monday.


More than 900 flights were canceled Sunday morning at the New York metropolitan area's Newark, Kennedy and LaGuardia airports, in addition to about 700 that were grounded Saturday, Port Authority officials said.


Philadelphia's airport reopened Sunday, after a shutdown and flight cancellations on Saturday stranded hundreds of travelers. About 50 travelers spent Sunday night at the airport, down from the 800 who had stayed the night before. Airport spokesman Mark Pesce said about 15 percent of arrivals and departures were canceled Monday morning.


Nearly 1,300 flights were canceled from Friday through Sunday at Chicago's O'Hare International.


The biggest problem in northern Maine was the teeth-chattering wind. Rich Norton of the National Weather Service, said the wind chill Sunday morning was 33 below zero in Frenchville, and 27 below in Bangor and Presque Isle.


The cold air extended all the way south to Florida, where Monday morning lows were in the upper 20s across the northern part of the state. Freezing temperatures registered as far south as Ocala, which fell to 25. Marathon in the Florida Keys reported 49 degrees -- with a wind chill of about 37.



Chip Carbone uses a snowblower to remove over two feet of snow in Providence.

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