Storm Pounds Boston After Dumping New Snow on New York
By Brian K. Sullivan - Jan 12, 2011 12:18 PM MT
A storm that dropped more than 9 inches of new snow on New York City pounded Boston with blizzard conditions, disrupting travel and prompting Massachusetts’ governor to declare a state of emergency.
More than 2,900 flights were canceled, mostly in the Northeast, according to airline reports compiled by Bloomberg. Amtrak suspended service between New York and Boston after a tree fell on an overhead power line near Sharon, Massachusetts, and the National Weather Service reported downed trees and power lines across the area.
Heavy snow will fall in waves on Boston and eastern New England for the rest of the day, said Alan Dunham, a weather service meteorologist in Taunton, Massachusetts. The storm was off the coast of Massachusetts at midday and strengthening, Dunham said.
“It will take a couple of hours for some these heavier bands to come through,” Dunham said. “There will be spots that see a foot and a half to two feet of snow by the time it is all said and done.”
Boston officials shut public schools, asked non-essential city workers to stay home and urged other businesses to let employees work from home, according to the city website. Governor Deval Patrick mobilized 250 National Guard troops and opened three shelters.
More than 71,000 customers were without power in Massachusetts and Rhode Island, according to statements from NStar and National Grid. Heating oil futures surged to a 27- month high on the New York Mercantile Exchange on speculation that snow and cold in the Northeast will increase demand for heating fuel.
In Maine, state offices will close at 3 p.m. because of the snow, according to a statement. About 29 inches of snow had fallen in Newtown, Connecticut, by 1 p.m., according to that state’s Department of Emergency Management & Homeland Security.
Cities across the U.S. Northeast deployed thousands of plows and sand-spreaders to tackle the second major snowstorm in a little more than two weeks.
New York City declared a weather emergency, urging people to stay off the roads, as the storm moved in. Public schools remained open.
New York Snowfall
More than 12 inches of snow fell on parts of the Bronx and northern New Jersey while Central Park had received 9.1 inches as of 7 a.m., when skies over Manhattan began to clear, the weather service said. A winter storm warning for the city remains in effect until 7 p.m. The storm combined two systems, one from the Midwest and another that dropped snow across the South earlier this week, forcing the governors of Georgia and South Carolina to declare emergencies.
New York City had 1,700 plows ready along with 365 salt trucks to tackle the municipal street cleanup, according to Mayor Michael Bloomberg, founder and majority owner of Bloomberg LP, parent of Bloomberg News.
Crews were equipped with video feeds and GPS systems to pinpoint trouble spots, he said at a press conference yesterday.
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which operates New York City’s buses and subways, deployed de-icers and snow blowers and said all services were operational today. During a post-Christmas blizzard, 600 buses stalled and hundreds of commuters were stranded.
The storm that struck New York and the Northeast Dec. 26 and Dec. 27 dropped at least 20 inches of snow on Central Park and forced the cancellation of more than 8,000 flights. Some New York City streets were unplowed for days and garbage pickups were backlogged.
Bloomberg said today that the city’s 6,000 miles of streets would be plowed twice by the end of the day.
“Our goal for this storm was not merely to get back to business as usual,” Bloomberg said during a news conference at Emergency Operations headquarters in Brooklyn. “Our goal was to deploy a more effective snow response operation than ever, more aggressive and more accountable, based on the lessons learned from the last storm, and that’s what we’ve done.”
Forecasters are already looking ahead at a system that may arrive by the middle of next week, said Matt Rogers, president of Commodity Weather Group LLC, a commercial forecaster in Bethesda, Maryland.
Rogers said the computer models aren’t clear on the exact track the storm will take.
“But the bottom line is that by next week, we’ll be battling another winter storm threat,” he said.
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