Life Beyond Boating  l  Marblehead, Massachusetts

The "One-Two Punch" Blizzard(s)
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Click thumbnails below for a larger picture
February 2, 2011

Okay, this punch wasn't as bad as advertised, but the snowfall turned heavy and wet.   (Feb. 2, 2011)

With the forecast of arctic temperature to follow, it was necessary to move as much out of the way as possible, before it turned to concrete.

Bob Donovan's plow guy came by, cleared the lot's entrance with a wave of heavy, wet snow to brace the growing mountain. Understandably they're overworked and doing their best.

I did what I could while I can. Next I'll need Bob's crew to return and clean up what they missed.

February 3, 2011

This scene is getting old fast. Only the heights change.

I've shoveled out as much as practical until Bob's plow returns.

Hey, turkey tracks. They must have arrived. I'll have to look for them.

Barbara's Honda, encased.

Bob's guy did a nice job clearing the lot, all things considered.

Gilly the Cat breaks loose from alongside the woodstove to join me for this photo shoot.

As expected, everything is frozen solid.

Ah, the wild turkeys were out back all along, waiting to be fed.

This guy wants in, must like the look of that blazing wood stove just beyond the door. Bet he wishes he could squeeze through that kitty door!

Wild turkeys -- once rare, an endangered species -- have at least in this yard become regular guests.

That hump on the right is my covered picnic furniture. It's never been an igloo before.

Nor has Chip Mate, the dinghy.

Barbara had a theory on how to best deal with lots of snow and sleet, from her western Pennsylvania youth:  Leave it alone, let it sit.

My strategy -- having a remote starter -- is to stay on top of it. I leave the defroster set to high, hit the remote a few times from indoors, melt things.

Barbara's theory proved good.

The snow on her Honda CRV came off in big clumps, easily removed chunk by chunk.

She makes clearing off the car look easy.

That snow wave on her house's side roof, while interesting, still concerns me -- especially in light of her car-clearing tactic.

The Village Street road down to the harbor, where the dock is during sailing season. Our lot's entrance is on the right.

That mountain . . . and the wood racks beyong.  The firewood soon inaccessible?

The Boston Globe
Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Heavy, wet snow may hit sagging roofs, limbs today
By Peter Schworm

With yesterday’s snowstorm landing another bruising blow to a winter-weary region, today’s encore is expected to bring a messy mix of snow, ice, and rain to challenge commuters of all kinds.

The first blast of the two-fisted storm descended on Greater Boston yesterday, snarling traffic, canceling hundreds of flights, and sending children home early from school. After an evening lull, snowfall was expected to intensify overnight, and road crews across the state were put on alert for an exhausting encore....

Forecasters said the storm will probably linger through the day before tapering off in the evening. Many school systems, including Boston, canceled school in anticipation of more snowfall....

Several roofs collapsed under the weight of heavy snow, including a warehouse roof in Holliston. About 20 workers escaped unharmed. Worried homeowners rushed to hardware stores to buy roof rakes, buying out stocks at some stores.

But as the region muddled through another snowy day, emergency officials cast a wary eye toward this morning, when the light, fluffy snow could turn to an icy mix. The forecast raised fears of treacherous road conditions, widespread power outages, and roof collapses.

“That’s the worst-case scenario,’’ said Peter Judge, a spokesman for the state’s emergency management agency. “Ice will stick to the wires and the trees, and the light, fluffy snow that’s been falling will act like a sponge.’’

Caroline Allen, a spokeswoman for NStar, which has 1.1 million electric customers in Eastern Massachusetts, said a predicted snow-sleet mix could pose problems with so much snow already weighing down limbs and power lines.

“We have all line crews reporting to work at 6 a.m.,’’ she said. “We’re gearing up for the worst in the afternoon.’’

Like many communities, Worcester was scrambling to handle the back-to-back storms, said Bob Moylan Jr., public works commissioner in Worcester, who hoped the snow would let up long enough for plow drivers to catch some much-needed sleep.

“Our guys have been at this 24-7 for weeks now,’’ he said. “With budget cuts, everyone’s down people, so there’s no bench. “

In Fitchburg, officials planned to stagger crews throughout the day so they could make it through the lengthy storm.

“We’ve called in everyone,’’ said Lenny Laakso, public works commissioner. “It’s getting old.’’

In Holliston, Fire Chief Michael Cassidy said workers inside the flat-roofed warehouse at the time of the collapse reported a “cracking and a very loud boom.’’

“That building is still shifting, still creaking and groaning,’’ he said.

Owner Pete MacDonald said it was too early to tell about the extent of the damage or when the building might be ready for use. “We’re glad nobody got hurt,’’ he said....

In Boston, the relentless snowfall has nearly filled the city’s six “snow farms,’’ where dump trucks lug mounds of snow excavated from streets with massive front-end loaders. But the city just secured additional dumping grounds, including an acre in South Boston that is larger than the other snow farms combined.

“We can come here and dump 30 trucks across and really increase productivity,’’ said Elmo Baldassari, the deputy commissioner of public works. “The more we remove, the better it will be for the rest of winter.’’

“But we’re into February,’’ Baldassari added in a hopeful note. “I hope Mother Nature takes care of it pretty soon.’’

Martin Finucane, Lisa Kocian, Eric Moskowitz, and Andrew Ryan of the Globe staff contributed to this report.

The Lynn Daily Item
Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Groundhog sees more snow
By Robin Kaminski

With a massive storm delivering a one-two punch to the region, winter-weary New Englanders are beginning to feel as if every day is Groundhog Day.

With an estimated two-day snowfall total of nearly 15 inches, morning and evening commutes were brought to a slow crawl as cars skidded over icy and snow-packed roadways.

"We're all starting to get tired," quipped Lynn Department of Public Works Commissioner Jay Fink. "We've just been inundated with complaints about the snow, and they're right, there's too much snow, but there's only so much we can do."

The storm, which blanketed the Midwest with snow and ice before it moved on to the greater Boston area Tuesday morning, is expected to linger in the area until this evening with a mix of snow and ice.

Charlie Foley, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, said by the time the first segment of the snowstorm ended on Tuesday night, nearly eight inches had blanketed the Lynn area.

"The next round will last until the late afternoon, early evening today, but the snow won't be the same dry, puffy, powdery snow that fell on Tuesday, it will be wetter with occasions of sleet, freezing rain and freezing drizzle," he said.

Foley said when all is said and done, upwards of 16-20 inches will have coated the already snow-burdened region.

"The good thing is when this storm kicks off, there will be sunny and cold weather on Thursday and Friday," said. "There is another storm forecast for Saturday, but our efforts are concentrated on this storm right now. But I can see that it's in our future."

Since a post-Christmas blizzard, the region has been clobbered with one storm after another. While this season's snowfall is above normal, the region has seen similarly snowy seasons, such as the record breaking 115.2 inches in the 1995-96 season.

As a result of the relentless snowstorms, Fink said the weather has all but plowed the city's snow removal budget.

"The money is long gone," he said. "And since no other money has been budgeted or set aside, we're in to the free cash now. Depending on how much federal aid or reimbursements we get, that will dictate how much of the free cash will be spent."

With overflowing mounds of snow on nearly every street in the city, Fink said plow drivers have been working overtime to push back the piles to make it easier for pedestrians and drivers to get around. However, only so much can be done when cars are parked on narrow streets, Fink said, which ends up causing an issue for medical professionals to get to emergencies. As a result, one-sided parking will be implemented on residential streets.

"No wonder people's car mirrors are hanging off with the way people are parking in the streets," he said. "Just because there is three feet of snow next to the curb, it doesn't mean that people shouldn't park there and leave an eight-foot wide roadway."

Snow emergencies were declared Tuesday in Nahant at 10 a.m., in Swampscott at 2 p.m., and in Lynn at 5 p.m....

The Salem News
Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Despite snow totals, trouble minimal
By Bruno Matarazzo Jr.

Yesterday was the quick jab from the left. Today is the hard blow from the right. It's a one-two combination that threatens to dump about a foot of snow, leaving the North Shore bruised and battered.

The second part of the storm was poised to continue throughout much of the day today, dropping 6 inches of snow, according to Salem State meteorologist Arthur Francis. But that's not all.

"We're going to have a chance of not only snow, but sleet," Francis said. He added the North Shore is likely to be spared any freezing rain, which could wreak havoc on the roads and power supplies.

Yesterday and last night, the roads remained mostly clear of any havoc or even significant accidents.

"He haven't sent our officers out on any accidents, yet," Hamilton police Lt. Scott Janes said.

Area police reported a few accidents, but none with serious injuries.

Most of the storm-related calls were about parking complaints, according to Beverly Patrolman David Costa.

Peabody did have a number of crashes, but the drivers exchanged paperwork even before police arrived, according to police Capt. Dennis Bonaiuto.

Weather buffs have called the storms historic, but Francis said only one of the two is impressive.

"The one (yesterday) wasn't, to me, that significant," Francis said. But today's storm does have some merit.

"It's monstrous," Francis said of the storm that stretches across much of the country as it makes its way east.

The snow from today's storm will be much heavier than yesterday's light, fluffy snow. There is more snow expected Saturday, but the details are still up in the air.

"It's too early to tell," Francis said.

Roofs become the next (and new) problem:
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