A city hunkers down, then digs out

On February 13, 2013, in Latest News, by The Somerville Times
City workers and independent contractors worked around the clock over the weekend clearing streets in Somerville. ~Photo by Bobbie Toner

City workers and independent contractors worked around the clock over the weekend clearing streets in Somerville. ~ Photo by Bobbie Toner

By Jim Clark

A massive snow storm cut a huge swath of freezing tribulation across much of the northeast last week, leaving roads blocked, schools closed, and many wondering, “When will it end?”

The City of Somerville was not spared the cold slap of the blizzard’s intensity, as more than two feet of snow fell over most of the area, making serious work for Department of Public Works employees as well as independent contractors and average citizens hoping to achieve a return to normalcy sooner than later.

Crews worked through the weekend clearing roadways and sidewalks. Local residents put their backs into the clearing process as well, shoveling out sidewalks, driveways, fire hydrants and parking spaces.

The declared snow emergency, originally scheduled to be lifted on Monday, was extended due to the massive amounts of snow that still needed to be removed from the roads and other vital spaces.

~Photo by Eric Zabriskie

~Photo by Eric Zabriskie

The storm brought the city and its environs to a virtual standstill. Vehicular traffic was halted for all but emergency usage. All modes of public transportation were shut down through the weekend. Public schools were closed and many just stayed home from work, playing it safe in the comfort of their homes.

Some made the best of a bad situation by creating a party atmosphere in the midst of a major weather event. Sledding and snow sculptures dotted frosty hillsides, and a dance party even sprang up in Union Square.

As the work in the streets made further progress early in the week, it was decided that the snow emergency would be declared over and that schools would reopen on Wednesday.

Temperatures are expected to remain above freezing over the next few days, allowing a gradually melt-off of snow. Although a light snowfall is forecast for Thursday, it looks as though the worst is over as far as snow accumulation is concerned.

 

 

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