As more flakes fell on winter-weary New England and forecasters predicted several days of heavy snowfall, all Michelle Currie could do was post on her Facebook page a photo of a weather map showing up to 18 inches of fresh snow that may fall on her home.
“I have to laugh because otherwise I may cry,” said Michelle Currie of Dracut, Massachusetts, a mother of five whose kids have already missed several days of school.
Light snow began falling Saturday in Dracut, less than an hour’s drive north of Boston, and what forecasters are calling a “long duration” storm is expected to intensify on Sunday night. The National Weather Service issued winter storm warnings on Saturday night for central New York, the western Catskills and much of New England through early Tuesday.
By Monday night, 12 to 18 additional inches of snow could fall on a large swath of southern New England, which is still coping with the aftereffects of storms that hit over the last couple of weeks and dumped record-high snowfall totals in some places.
The snow is likely to cause problems for commuters on Monday, though it’s not expected to accumulate as rapidly as in some of the earlier storms, including a record-busting late January blizzard. There also is little risk seen of significant coastal flooding, a problem during last month’s winter blasts.
Boston’s transit system, the nation’s oldest, has been particularly hard hit. The buildup of snow and ice on trolley tracks combined with aging equipment has stalled trains in recent days, delaying and angering commuters. Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority general manager Beverly Scott said Saturday that crews were doing everything they could, including deploying massive jet-powered snow blowers, to clear tracks before the next storm.
Gov. Charlie Baker acknowledged on Friday that the MBTA was handed an extraordinary situation with old equipment but said the system’s overall performance was unacceptable.
In many New England communities, the obvious problem is where to put the next batch of snow.
David Lombari, public works director for West Warwick, Rhode Island, told the Providence Journal his town was already clogged with snow piles several feet high and school buses were parked in the usual snow storage lot.
“I don’t know what we’re going to do yet,” Lombari said. “It’s tough trying to find a place that meets all the proper (environmental) criteria.”
A worker uses a front-end loader to remove piled snow Saturday, Feb. 7, 2015, from a street in Marlborough, Mass. A long duration winter storm was forecast to begin Saturday night and remain in effect..(Associated Press)
State snow disposal guidelines require that communities use locations that won’t harm environmental resources and have barriers that prevent contaminants from seeping into groundwater when the snow melts.
Adding injury to insult perhaps, the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency warned that potentially record cold temperatures and wind chills are expected to move into the region later in the week after the storm.
Not everyone was dreading the blast of winter.
Business has been brisk at Charles Street Supply hardware in Boston, where owner Jack Gurnon sells shovels, salt and sleds. He drove to Portland, Maine, to stock up so he’d be able to meet demand when the next storm came.
“We actually have a lot of supply right now, and we’re lucky because the big box stores, they’re scrambling around, and I’m sitting on a whole bunch right now,” Gurnon said.
But an increase in sales isn’t all he is looking forward to. “I also love to ski, so as soon as this next mess is over with, I’m taking off and going north,” he said.
Courtesy of Newser News