, Newburyport, MA

Local News

February 11, 2013

As skies clear, cleanup begins throughout region

NEWBURYPORT — Almost 48 hours after the last snowflakes of Blizzard 2013 fell in Greater Newburyport, public works departments across the area were still hard at work clearing as much snow as possible from roads and sidewalks in time for today’s rush hour commute.

On Sunday morning, thousands of residents emerged from almost two days of hibernation to begin the Herculean task of shoveling their driveways and sidewalks.

About 21 inches of snow fell on Greater Newburyport during the roughly 24-hour snow event that saw some areas in Worcester County receive more than 2 feet of snow. The greatest period of snowfall took place between 10 p.m. Friday and 6 a.m. Saturday, according to Salisbury resident Ray Whitley, who monitors conditions for the National Weather Service in Taunton.

DPW crews in Amesbury will have all of today to clean up as much of the city as possible before students return to school. Mayor Thatcher Kezer III said Monday classes were canceled as the region is expected to be hit with a winter squall today, making an already problematic school commute all the more dicey.

“That’s just too much,” Kezer said.

Newburyport students looking to stay home an extra day weren’t as lucky, as Mayor Donna Holaday said yesterday schools were expected to open on time.

Newburyport Emergency Management Director Thomas Howard yesterday said the city’s parking ban was expected to be lifted at 8 a.m. today. The ban was extended through Sunday and into this morning to give Department of Public Services crews more time to widen snow-clogged streets, increase visibility at dangerous intersections and clear as much snow from sidewalks as possible.

“Parking will be a challenge and people have got to be mindful that they need to leave passage. If a plow truck can’t get by you, then it’s not a safe place to park,” said Howard, the city’s police marshal.

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