Chip Ford's 1974 Catalina 22 Restoration Project
Sail #3282  l  Marblehead, Massachusetts

The Great Blizzard of '05
January 24, 2005

Winter whopper buries region
Snowfall, wind crush the coast (Jan 24)

Let it snow? Let it stop! (Jan 28)

Entire state is eligible for federal disaster aid (Feb 19)

Click on the thumbnails for larger images
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Oh boy, where do I start! This is a view from the street down my driveway/lot, with my house at the end. The plow pushed the snow as far into the driveway as it could, then left it for later.

 That's Chip Ahoy to the left, covered with the blue tarp. It blew so hard there was little if any of the 38" on it when the storm ended.

I got the snowblower out and as always, first cut a path to the shed (left) where the spare gas is stored. Though I'd filled that snowblower the day before the storm, it wasn't long before it got thirsty. Remember that covered picnic table?

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A view of the driveway from a second floor window. The snow mountain has the truck stuck in, and I can't snowblow beyond it.

"Oo, oo, oo, lookin' out my front door," with apologies to John Fogarty and Creedence Clearwater Revival.

The path from the side of the house to the front door (with Chip Ahoy and my buried woodpile  in the background).

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The front door finally cleared of its drift.

A shot from the front door out the driveway. This ain't good!

From the front door along the front of the house to its side. There's that  picnic table again.

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The side of my house. I have to get to that sliding door on the left in the foreground to bring in wood for the stove. To the right of the showblower is the path to the shed.

Finally the front-end loader arrived at about 4:00 pm and moved the mountain of snow. Eventually I was able to dig out the Explorer.

The mountain of snow being moved in front of Chip Ahoy. Note the woodpile buried on the left behind the explorer.

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That's Chip Ahoy behind the mountain. Looks like it's not going anywhere until June or July!

Four days later still clearing out -- after another storm dropped an additional 6"-8" locally on us Wednesday. Got to love that "ocean effect."  (Jan. 28)

Chip Ahoy is buried until spring thaw behind the mountain of snow moved back by the front-end loader.

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Once the plow came by on Wednesday I was able to find and break through to  my woodpile. Yesterday I cleared out a path to it.

I will not freeze after all! At the end of the woodpile I was finally able to find the chopping block beneath the cart. Chip Ahoy sits waiting for spring.

My next project, the rudder, awaits in the shed, so I've got to keep a path clear to it. That's also where the spare gas for the snowblower is stored.

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The path from the shed leads along the side of the house, past the sliding doors that open into the kitchen and wood stove.

The Boston Globe
Monday, January 24, 2005

Winter whopper buries region
Snowfall, wind crush the coast

By Donovan Slack, Globe Staff

The Blizzard of 2005 delivered a staggering blow to much of Eastern Massachusetts yesterday, dropping more than 3 feet of snow in some places and whipping it into towering drifts with howling gusts that topped 80 miles per hour along the coast.

At least two deaths were attributed to the storm, one of the worst ever to hit the region. One victim was a 10-year-old boy found lifeless in an idling car in Roxbury, parked with its tailpipe blocked by snow. The other was a 64-year-old Brookline man, former Globe columnist David Nyhan, who apparently suffered a heart attack after shoveling snow.

At its height, the fierce and compact storm knocked out power to some 26,000 customers -- including the entire island of Nantucket -- and halted air travel and ferry service. While the storm dumped 38 inches of snow in Salem, Cape Cod and the islands bore the brunt of its fury. Sagamore registered 35 inches at 4 p.m. and Yarmouth Port logged 30 inches early in the afternoon, according to the National Weather Service. Logan International Airport reported 22.5 inches of snow at 7 p.m., 5 inches shy of the record, 27.5 inches, set during the Presidents' Day storm of 2003. On Boston Common, the snow measured 26 inches deep.

Drifting was a major concern in many communities, with road closures reported in Nahant, Marblehead, Revere, Quincy, and Provincetown, where snow drifted as high as 8 feet. On Nantucket, firefighters said most island roads were drifted over and some parts of the island were cut off. With no power for lights or heat on Nantucket, emergency officials evacuated many residents to a shelter at the local high school and the island hospital. "People are coping," firefighter Robert Bates said.

The drifts won't be melting anytime soon, forecasters said, with temperatures throughout the region expected to remain below freezing until next Sunday or Monday.

In Roxbury, rescue personnel were called yesterday afternoon to an apartment building where a boy had been found in a car in cardiac arrest, said Boston police spokesman John Boyle. Attempts to revive the boy with a defibrillator failed, and he was pronounced dead at Boston Medical Center, where administrator Cynthia Donovan said the cause was cardiac pulmonary arrest, as well as carbon monoxide poisoning.

Said Boyle, "I'd just consider it a tragic accident."

A Boston fire official, who declined to be named, said authorities arrived at 200 Ruggles St. at 5:40 p.m., and the child "was in a running car where there was snow above the tailpipe."

Denise Monteiro, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Social Services, said the amily had no history with the agency. She confirmed the boy's identity as Angel Serrano, 10. The boy, a fifth-grader at the Orchard Gardens School, had been outside playing, a relative said. When he got cold, he apparently took the keys to the snow-covered car and sat inside to listen to reggae music.

"It's terrible -- he was such a nice, friendly kid," said Ernesto Montanez, the boy's grandfather. "He loved to make jokes."

As strong as the storm was, officials at the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency said it wasn't as bad as they had expected. The fluffy consistency of the snow helped keep property damage to a minimum. Some waterfront homes were damaged by waves in Scituate, but most of the severe flooding that forecasters warned of did not materialize.

"We really dodged a bullet on this one," said Peter Judge, a spokesman for the emergency agency. "It could have been a lot worse."

For the most part, residents across the region hunkered down indoors, leaving the roads free for snowplows and salting trucks. In many communities, though, plowing seemed a futile endeavor for much of the day as strong winds deposited the white stuff back onto roadways nearly as fast as they were cleared.

"We can't even keep up with snow in the parking lot," said one Massachusetts Highway Department employee on the Cape.

In Boston, officials issued 3,200 tickets and towed 320 cars in the 24 hours after Mayor Thomas M. Menino declared a snow emergency at 4 p.m. Saturday. Piles of snow measuring 6 and 8 feet in height dotted the downtown landscape, creating a wintry wonderland on Boston Common and in the Public Garden but posing a safety hazard on city streets. Because of the volume of the curbside drifts, Menino shuttered schools today and tomorrow and asked private businesses to remain closed as well.

"We had to make some real calculated decisions," said Menino, who slept in a chair in his City Hall office on Saturday night.

Public Works Director Joseph Casazza estimated the blizzard will cost more than $3 million before the cleanup is finished, a hefty chunk of the city's $7.5 million snow budget this year. The Inspectional Services Department fielded about 160 calls about heating problems, including complaints of no heat, no hot water, or frozen pipes.

Governor Mitt Romney, who declared a state of emergency on Saturday because of the storm, gave state employees in Eastern Massachusetts the day off today. Romney also asked private employers to "use your best judgment" on whether to open for business.

The storm brought many businesses to a halt yesterday. South Shore Plaza in Braintree was closed all day. (The mall is slated to reopen today at 10 a.m.) Gillette Co. shut down its South Boston factory, where 2,000 employees work, but was expected to reopen last night.

Most major Boston employers said they planned to open as usual today. Fidelity Investments, Putnam Investments, and Citizens Bank all said they would be open. State Street Corp. said some employees would work from home and some work might be diverted to other locations, but that its 24-hour financial operations were unaffected. Bank of America said all of its branches would be operating, with late openings for a few scattered locations.

"We encourage our employees to take public transportation," said Anne Finucane, president of Bank of America's Northeast region. She said all employees should exercise caution in traveling, and that, because of school closings, some employees clearly would not be able to work.

At Logan Airport yesterday, the terminals were quiet and virtually empty, except for a few passengers who hadn't realized that the airport had shut down at 3 a.m. Transportation Safety Administration employees were asked to come to work, along with a skeleton crew of ticket agents, who tried to rebook flights for the few passengers who made an attempt to fly out.

In Truro, farmer George Mooney said the storm "ranks right up there." He measured gusts at 63 miles per hour on his home wind gauge and said the tide in Provincetown Harbor almost covered the town pier.

As with any major snowstorm, some people took advantage of the massive snow accumulation for recreational purposes. Snowmobilers hit the streets in Hingham, while sledders were spotted in Natick.

Jeannine Busick bundled up her 11-month old twins, Haiden and Tobias, in fleece hats, scarves, and snowsuits for a ride down a popular sledding hill at Johnson Elementary School in Natick. Busick, a Newton native, recalled how her parents took photos of her playing in the snow at age 2 during the Blizzard of '78. She wanted the same sort of memories for her own boys.

David Abel, Beth Healy, Kathy McCabe, Maria Cramer, Erica Noonan, and Maria Sacchetti of the Globe staff and Globe correspondents Sean Greene, Connie Paige, Janette Neuwahl, Madison Park, Heather Allen, and Emma Stickgold contributed to this report. Material from Associated Press was also used.

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The Salem News
Friday, January 28, 2005

Let it snow? Let it stop!

Imagine looking forward to February for relief from this snowy weather. It's hard to believe, but it's true. For some, January — which breathes its last on Monday — can't end soon enough.

The past week's blizzard and more moderate snowfall Wednesday, pushed the region to a new record in terms of accumulation.

This month is already the snowiest in 133 years of record-keeping in the Boston area. At Logan Airport, 43.1 inches of snow had fallen, surpassing the previous record of 41.6 inches set in February 2003.

That's a lot of snow as weary homeowners and plow operators can attest.

Here's hoping February brings more moderate weather — but given our experience so far this winter, we're not counting on it.

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The Boston Globe
Saturday, February 19, 2005

Entire state is eligible for federal disaster aid
By Heather Allen, Globe Correspondent

President Bush yesterday declared the Commonwealth of Massachusetts a disaster area as a result of the Jan. 22 blizzard that dumped 2 to 3 feet of snow on some communities.

The declaration qualifies businesses and residents of all 14 counties in the state for federal aid, a rare statewide designation, said a spokesman for the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency.

Officials could not say how much money the federal government would provide the state, but the fact that the blizzard occurred on a weekend boosted demands on crews to work overtime clearing roads and lots, said Peter Judge, spokesman for MEMA.

The agencies that apply for the federal aid can cite expenditures during a continuous 72-hour period, extended from the typical 48-hour span that the Federal Emergency Management agency permits.

“The January blizzard dumped historic levels of snowfall on Massachusetts, overwhelming local communities and depleting snow and ice removal budgets,” Governor Mitt Romney said in a prepared statement.

“This federal assistance will greatly relieve the financial burden the storm placed on the state and our cities and towns,” he added.

Under the declaration, the Federal Emergency Management Agency would reimburse local governments, state agencies, and some nonprofit organizations for 75 percent of costs used on snow removal equipment, contracts, and overtime.

Expenses for sanding, salting, search and rescue, and shelter operations are also eligible for aid.

The last time the state asked for federal assistance was in December 2003, Judge said.

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