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February 11, 2013

As skies clear, cleanup begins throughout region

(Continued)

Howard urged motorists to be especially aware of high snowbanks, which can limit visibility and produce greater risk of car collisions or pedestrian accidents.

“Use some courtesy out there until we get the stuff cleared away,” Howard said.

Kezer said his city’s parking ban was lifted yesterday at noon except for areas where DPW crews have placed “no parking signs.” The signs, Kezer said, represent areas where DPW crews are expected to clear in the near future making the presence of cars a hindrance. The city’s winter parking ban, between 1 and 5 a.m. each day, remains in effect.

A parking ban will be in effect for downtown Amesbury today starting at 10 p.m. in order for DPW workers to remove the snow on roads and sidewalks. During the cleanup, parking on any public downtown roadways is prohibited and access to the downtown area will be restricted.

Making it easier on DPW crews and anyone shoveling over the weekend and into today is that due to low temperatures during the storm, the snow wasn’t saturated with moisture. The snow wasn’t fluffy either, as warmer than usual ocean temperatures added some wetness to the white stuff, Whitley said.

National Grid, the region’s electricity provider, reported that at the peak of the storm, Friday at 11 p.m, more than 170,000 Massachusetts customers were without power. By Sunday noon, that number was down to roughly 65,000 customers statewide. More than 2,000 crews — including National Grid personnel and workers from 26 states and Canada — were blanketing National Grid’s service area in Massachusetts and Rhode Island, repairing damaged equipment and restoring light and heat to affected customers.

Officials in Newburyport, Amesbury and Salisbury credited Gov. Deval Patrick’s decision to ban all motor vehicle traffic for 24 hours starting at 4 p.m. Friday, the first time such a ban was issued since 1978, saying it greatly aided not only DPW workers but emergency responders as well. And for the most part, according to those officials, motorists heeded the ban.

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