Gov. Patrick Tours Areas Hit Hard By Snowstorm
After a massive weekend snowstorm, Massachusetts residents returned to work Monday, while work crews continued power-restoration and snow-removal efforts, and the governor toured some of the towns hit hardest by the storm.
Just before 5 p.m. Monday, snow-clogged Boston announced that its public schools would remain closed Tuesday. Earlier Monday, Somerville said its schools will remain closed through Wednesday. (See here for all closings and delays.)
As of 5 p.m. Monday, 110,000 electric customers remained without power, mostly on the South Shore and Cape Cod. (See outage maps here: NStar, National Grid)
National Grid spokesman David Graves said the utility expects to have all customers back online by Tuesday night. NStar said some of its customers could be without power until Thursday.
The state’s utilities had been criticized for their slow response and poor communication during previous storms, but Gov. Deval Patrick said it was too early to assess the response to the latest storm. While communication has been better, many people are still without electricity, he said. “If you’re without power it’s not going fast enough,” Patrick said.
Patrick — speaking in Scituate, one of the hard-hit communities he toured Monday — added that he’d be interested in hearing the utilities’ thoughts about burying power lines — an expensive proposition.
Patrick called the amount of debris and rocks tossed onto Scituate's waterfront roads by the storm "extraordinary."
The governor started Monday in Scituate, which had seawater flooding coastal roads and some residents evacuated, and he also visited Marshfield and Yarmouth.
Meanwhile, crews worked to clear snow and slush off of roads and sidewalks.
Boston dispatched "strike teams" — an effort involving the city and privately owned snowplows, front-end loaders and dump trucks — to remove giant mounds of snow from streets.
Joanne Massaro, the city's public works commissioner, said crews had already plowed more than 800 miles of streets by midday Monday.
"We’re going to do a massive effort [Monday evening]," she said. "We’re going to be across the city, main arterials, but also in neighborhood districts.”
Though Boston's schools are closed Tuesday, there was no decision on lifting the parking ban.
The city said for families who need child care help, all Boston Centers for Youth & Families community centers will be open on Tuesday from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Highways were relatively clear early Monday, but quickly backed up once a wintry mix of sleet and freezing rain made its way into the state.
Many secondary roads still had a thick coating of snow, and high snow banks that block sight lines at intersections and near highway ramps made turning and merging hazardous.
Regularly scheduled MBTA service resumed Monday, but some trolley and commuter rail lines experienced delays due to signal problems and weather-related issues.
With reporting by The Associated Press and the WBUR Newsroom
This article was originally published on February 11, 2013.