Power Back For Some Mass. Residents; Transit Expected Next
PLYMOUTH, Mass. — Travel slowly returned to normal and crews raced to restore power in Massachusetts on Sunday after the massive snowstorm that dumped up to 30 inches of snow in the Northeast and lashed the coast with damaging winds and tides.
Limited subway and bus service resumed Sunday afternoon. Authorities hoped to fully restore the system for Monday morning’s rush hour. Logan Airport also reopened, and a travel ban on roads was lifted.
More than 200,000 homes and businesses, mostly along the southeastern Massachusetts coast and on Cape Cod, were without power Sunday and some might be without it until Tuesday, officials warned. About 1,000 people stayed overnight in shelters, said Gov. Deval Patrick.
“Considering the severity of the storm, the amount of snow and the wind, we’ve come though this pretty well,” Patrick told CBS “Face the Nation.”
The governor, joined by U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren and interim Sen. William “Mo” Cowan, toured hard-hit areas of Plymouth and Cape Cod on Sunday, meeting with local emergency management officials.
Patrick said damage along the coast was still being assessed, but no serious injuries were reported from flooding. He was hopeful the state will qualify for federal aid.
“We don’t know yet what we’re eligible for…but we have had a lot of contact from federal authorities, asking what we need and encouraging us to apply. So we’ll take that a step at a time,” the governor said.
Officials warned of carbon monoxide dangers after two people, including a teenage boy, died while sitting in running cars in Boston.
The boy’s father was shoveling snow in the Roxbury neighborhood on Saturday and put his son into the car to stay warm. The car’s tailpipe was clogged with snow and the boy was overcome by carbon monoxide, said Boston Fire Department spokesman Steve MacDonald.
The boy, whose name was not released, was 13 or 14, MacDonald said.
A man in his 20s was found dead Saturday in a running car in the city’s Mattapan neighborhood, MacDonald said. Two children who also were overcome in a car in East Boston were taken to a hospital and expected to recover.
Carbon monoxide risk isn’t limited to car exhaust; generators also are sources. National Grid, a major utility, tweeted a safety tip Sunday afternoon:
#SafetyFirst: Never operate a generator in enclosed or partially enclosed space, including a home, garage or basement.
— National Grid US (@nationalgridus) February 10, 2013
State Senate President Therese Murray urged residents to be careful. “People using their generators inside the house — dumb. It’s going to kill you,” she cautioned. “People really have to be careful about the buildup of that gas. We don’t want to see anybody else die.”
Know the carbon monoxide poisoning symptoms: Headache, dizziness, nausea, fainting, shortness of breath, fatigue
— RedCrossEasternMA (@RedCrossEastMA) February 10, 2013
Snow accumulation, downed tree limbs and other damage from high winds and the overall age of the transit system made restoration challenging, said Beverly Scott, the MBTA’s general manager. Streets that were impassable or significantly narrowed by the snow will also make it difficult for some buses to get through.
Still, Scott said she hoped for the system to be fully restored by Monday, albeit with some delays.
“Give yourself more time and expect that it is going to take us more time,” she advised riders. “But we are going to be fully operational.”
One concern going forward was a forecast for rain Monday. While warmer temperatures might begin melting snow, the rain on top of snow-laden roofs could pose a danger of collapse.
“We are encouraging people as they can do so safely to use snow rakes and so forth to move the snow off of their roofs,” Patrick said.
With reporting by The Associated Press and the WBUR Newsroom