NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Local News

December 20, 2008

Snow blows in

As area digs out, another storm on the way

NEWBURYPORT — Keep your shovels close by.

As you dig out today, more snow, mixing with some sleet or rain, is expected to arrive tomorrow, but the total accumulation won't be as high as estimates predicted for yesterday's storm, meteorologists say.

"There's still a lot developing with that," meteorologist Alan Dunham of the National Weather Service in Taunton said yesterday.

Initial forecasts show the storm will be mostly snow, maybe mixing in with some sleet or changing to rain. Unlike last night's storm, tomorrow's snow will have less accumulation since it will mix with rain, but Monday could be a cold day due to the gusty winds of the storm.

"I would anticipate ... getting a fairly good amount of snow before the change over," Dunham said.

Though many workers left work early or didn't go at all yesterday, the near white-out conditions in the late afternoon still caused clogged roads all over the area. From the outset of the storm, accidents were being reported around the area, including a head-on collision at Center Street in Rowley that resulted in minor injuries.

Backups at key local intersections like Storey Avenue and Low Street in Newburyport and Bridge Road and Route 110 in Salisbury were backed up for a half-mile.

But visions of the December 2007 storm that created gridlock on the interstate highways never materialized, as businesses and schools let out early at the urging of public officials.

A parking ban will be in effect in Newburyport through noon today.

Moak said the city will be flexible and won't enforce the parking ban downtown Friday until all the shops and restaurants are closed. The city will be strict about parking overnight, Moak said.

"Tonight (Friday) we're going to be very aggressive about parking," Moak said.

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