WHITMAN, Mass. (AP) — A winter storm that dropped close to a foot of snow in some areas of Massachusetts made driving treacherous Wednesday and prompted closures and school cancellations around the state.
Gov. Deval Patrick told all non-essential state employees in the executive branch to stay home, and even though Boston's Logan Airport remained open, many flights — both in and out — were canceled or delayed.
The snow hit western portions of the state before dawn and arrived in Boston just in time for the morning commute. By the end of the day, about a foot was reported in many northern areas, with about half that much in the southeastern part of the state, where rain and sleet mixed in.
At mid-evening Wednesday, the National Weather Service reported 13 inches at Lunenburg in Worcester County. A foot was reported in Western Massachusetts in West Springfield, Ludlow, and South Hadley. In the greater Boston area, Winchester and Framingham had about a foot, as did West Peabody on the North Shore. Many locations, including Logan International Airport, had approximately 10 inches.
Some people took the latest storm in stride, while others were clearly tired of snow.
David Fullerton said he doesn't understand all the complaining.
"Don't be in the Northeast if you don't want it," Fullerton said, as he shoveled snow from his driveway and walkway in Whitman, about 20 miles south of Boston.
At midday, the snow was falling 1 to 2 inches per hour, said Alan Dunham, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Taunton.
"We warned people that once the snow started it would come down hard," Dunham said.
Schools and colleges canceled classes, including in Boston, Worcester and Springfield. The state's trial courts also closed for the day.
By afternoon, snow had turned to sleet in areas of southeastern Massachusetts, as well as parts of Cape Cod and the islands of Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket.
Dunham said the worst of the snow was just about over by 1 p.m.
A winter storm warning was maintained until 1 a.m. for northern parts of the state because a little snow was expected to linger.
No significant power outages were reported.
Some people had no choice but to drive on the slippery roads.
Ann Scagel, of Haverhill, about 35 miles north of Boston, said she had to drive her daughter to her job at a supermarket.
"People shouldn't be on the roads if they don't have to," Scagel said. "I am going to try to get out of this mess and home as quickly as I can."
Dan Volonino, 72, of Haverhill, did not let the storm stop him from sticking to his New Year's resolution to work out. He was at the gym at 9 a.m.
"I think God is punishing me for all the mean phone calls I had with my children when I was spending my winters in Florida," he said. "I used to call them and complain about having my AC on while they were stuck in snowstorms."
Larry Hardin, of Arlington, said he has a simple philosophy for keeping up with the shoveling.
"One shovel at a time," he said.
Associated Press writers Rodrique Ngowi in Arlington and Paige Sutherland in Haverhill contributed to this report.