Scenes and snapshots from the Mass. snowstorm

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 9, 2013 at 2:51 pm •  Published: February 9, 2013
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BOSTON (AP) — A collection of vignettes and news items, compiled by Associated Press reporters and photographers around Massachusetts during the storm that brought more than 2 feet of snow to some parts of the state and knocked out power to hundreds of thousands:

TOUGH TRAVEL

Gov. Deval Patrick banned drivers from the roads for 24 hours, from 4 p.m. Friday afternoon to 4 p.m. Saturday (those in western Massachusetts and Nantucket got a reprieve slightly earlier.) He said the decision meant emergency crews only had to rescue a few dozen stranded drivers.

"All of us were trying to take lessons from other experiences, including the blizzard of '78," he said. In that storm, a travel ban wasn't in place till after the snow hit, and thousands of cars were already stranded. This time, most people were safely at their destinations before the snow started.

Now, Patrick said, people need to be patient while things start to get back to normal. They should stay off the roads if they can even though driving is now permitted.

"We have a lot of snow to dispose of and remove, and it will take some time to do that," he said.

The MBTA, which suspended service at 3:30 Friday and did not plan to resume it Saturday, may run some subway trains Sunday, but the goal is to restore full service by the Monday morning commute. A communications tower in Quincy went down during the storm, making full restoration of service a challenge.

Logan International Airport hoped to open a runway by 11 p.m. and said people planning to travel Sunday should contact their airlines for updates. Amtrak canceled New York to Boston service Saturday.

TRAGEDY

The Boston fire department said an 11-year-old boy died of carbon monoxide poisoning after being overcome as he sat in a running car to keep warm, while his father was shoveling snow to get the car out of a snow bank.

Department spokesman Steve MacDonald said the boy was helping his father shovel the snow in the Dorchester neighborhood Saturday but got cold, so his father started the car and the boy got inside. MacDonald said the car exhaust was covered by a snow bank, causing the fumes to collect in the vehicle.

When the boy was overcome by the fumes, the father went into respiratory arrest and emergency workers took both to Boston Medical Center. The boy was pronounced dead at the hospital. No names were released.

EVACUATIONS

More than 40 people had to be evacuated from about a dozen homes along the coast in Salisbury on Saturday morning because of tidal flooding that came with the storm. Forecasts only called for moderate swells, so residents were not told to leave Friday night.

Ed and Nancy Bemis were watching the impressive waves from their first-floor apartment when one smashed through, blowing out the door and knocking it on top of Nancy.

"After the wave hit, the next thing I remember, the door was on my back and I'm under saltwater," she said. She had a butterfly bandage on her head but was not badly injured.

Ed Bemis described objects in the house flying everywhere.

"If you went in there, it looks like two big guys got in a big, big fight," he said. "It tore the doors right off their hinges. It's a mess."

Because of water on the road, some people had to be taken out of their homes in the buckets of front-end loaders, including resident Kelly Hochmuth. An emergency medical technician carried Hochmuth's 6-week-old baby out separately.

"The EMT had to come and take the baby, which was totally heartbreaking," she said, though the separation was brief. Later Saturday, Hochmuth, the Bemises and their neighbors were passing the time socializing and reading at the town senior center. It could be days before they can go home.

"People in a shelter get very impatient very fast," said town emergency director Bob Cook. "Nobody wants to be in a shelter, I understand that."

The National Guard also helped evacuate coastal residents in other parts of the state.

TRYING TO KEEP WARM

"This is crazy. I mean it's just nuts," said Eileen O'Brien, 56, of blacked-out Sagamore Beach, Mass., clearing heavy snow from her deck for fear it might collapse.

As the pirate flag outside her door snapped and popped in gale-force winds Saturday, she pointed to the snowman she'd built 16 hours earlier, when her mood and the snow were both lighter — and the Upper Cape village still had power.

"My thermostat keeps dropping. Right now it's 54 inside, and I don't have any wood," said O'Brien, a respiratory care practitioner. "There's nothing I can do to keep warm except maybe start the grill and make some coffee."

CROWDS GATHER

The streets of Boston were mostly empty Saturday morning because of the waist-high snow. Plows that had gone through made some streets passable but piled even more snow atop cars parked on the city's narrow streets.

Wind blew huge chunks of snow and slush from the tops of skyscrapers and they landed with a thunk, a startling sound in the quiet. Roads were not plowed in Financial District, a low priority because workers were off for the weekend.

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