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Greater Boston is still digging out after historic blizzard

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Snowblowers out on the streets of Cambridge as the clean up from the weekend's storm begins. (Robin Lubbock/WBUR)
Snowblowers out on the streets of Cambridge as the clean up from the weekend's storm begins. (Robin Lubbock/WBUR)

The historic blizzard that dumped 2 feet of snow across much of the region moved out Saturday night, leaving behind bluebird skies and piles of white, fluffy snow.

Parts of the South Shore saw 30 inches, and some areas on the Cape remained without power Sunday. Boston tied its record for single-day total snowfall, with Logan Airport measuring 23.6 inches in 24 hours.

In Charlestown, Joe Braz was plowing the sidewalk below the Bunker Hill monument.

"You have to go slow, that’s all," he said. "Drink some coffee, drink some water, then keep going."

Braz said he'd started work Saturday and drove through the night, navigating his plow through the neighborhood’s old winding streets. He figured he still had a few more hours to go.

"The problem is the wind, it blows up," he said. "And then you have to clean it up, and clean it up, and it takes three or four times, you know."

A man using a snowblower ducks to avoid the snow cloud being blown back at him by the wind on Flint Street in Somerville. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)
A man using a snowblower ducks to avoid the snow cloud being blown back at him by the wind on Flint Street in Somerville. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

Down the street, Jack Cunliffe was shoveling out his car. Cunliffe grew up in Charlestown and said he’s not fazed by a couple feet of snow.

"You know I remember back, way back probably in the late '70s early '80s, it just felt like this was more prevalent, these types of storms," he said.

On Sunday, Mayor Michelle Wu said city workers were making good progress in clearing the biggest single-day snowfall in nearly two decades.

Boston schools are open Monday – and Wu was urging people to finish shoveling before the school day started.

"We really need everyone’s help to dig out the sidewalk in front of your home, and in front of your property, especially so our young people can access bus stops," she said.

Cameron Minor watches as Rhianna Del Bene pushes a shvel ful of snow across Cross street in Somerville. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)
Cameron Minor watches as Rhianna Del Bene pushes a shovel full of snow across Cross street in Somerville. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

On Bunker Hill, the Pietrella family took a break from shoveling so the kids could go sledding for the first time.

Fivr-year-old Zelda and 3-year-old Parker raced up and down the hill with their new Ace Hardware sled. It looked like it would be a long day for parents Heidi and Justin.

"Do you want to help Daddy shovel out the car when we get back," Justin Pietrella asked Zelda, as she prepared for another run.

She gave him an emphatic "no," and slid back down the hill.

It seems everyone in Boston has a formative blizzard — whether it was 1978 or the April Fools Day storm of 1997.

For the Pietrella kids — and many others across the region — the blizzard of 2022 will be one to remember.

The storm had two saving graces: Dry snow less capable of snapping trees and tearing down power lines, and its timing on a weekend, when schools were closed and few people were commuting.

The National Weather Service considers a storm a blizzard if it has snowfall or blowing snow, as well as winds of at least 35 mph that reduce visibility to a quarter-mile or less for at least three hours. In many areas, Saturday's storm met those criteria.

With additional reporting from The Associated Press

This article was originally published on January 30, 2022.

This segment aired on January 31, 2022.

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Walter Wuthmann Twitter General Assignment Reporter
Walter Wuthmann is a general assignment reporter for WBUR.

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