BOSTON– An intense “bomb cyclone” battered the US East Coast on Thursday with high winds and heavy snowfalls, leaving thousands of flights cancelled, numerous schools and offices closed and millions of Americans bracing for potential power shortages.
In New England, Boston and Providence, Rhode Island, could get eight to 12 inches, while Portland, Maine, could see 10 to 15 inches, the US National Weather Service said.
More than 3,000 flights were cancelled on Thursday, with airports in New York, Newark, New Jersey; Boston reporting the most cancellations, according to FlightAware, an aviation tracking website.
Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh announced the city’s continued preparations for the ongoing winter storm, which was expected to bring 12 to 18 inches of snow and strong winds by around 9:00 p.m. Thursday tonight, with freezing cold temperatures lasting all weekend. Boston’s Emergency Operations Center is running and will be monitoring the storm.
“As always, safety is our number one priority. We are encouraging residents to stay off the roads, assist the elderly and disabled, and be sure to use caution during the cold weather,” said Mayor Walsh. “Please remember to abide by safety guidelines, call 3-1-1 with any questions, and be safe.”
- Boston Public Schools will be closed on Friday, January 5.
- All Boston Centers for Youth & Families (BCYF) community centers will be open on Friday, including stand-alone centers and school-based sites.
- A snow emergency and parking ban remains in effect throughout the duration of the storm.
- City Hall and all libraries will be open tomorrow, and all employees should report to work.
- Crews from Boston Water and Sewer, the Boston Fire Department and Inspectional Services are monitoring flooding in neighborhoods.
- Sidewalks should be shoveled by 3 hours after dawn tomorrow, at about 10:15 a.m.
Discounted parking is available for Boston residents in garages and lots throughout city, and residents will have two hours to move their cars once the parking ban is lifted. Locations and pricing are available at Boston.gov/snow. Residents are encouraged to stay off the roads, and take public transportation if needed. Emergency personnel who need transport, such as doctors and nurses, are encouraged to call 3-1-1 to be connected.
Boston Public Works has 40,000 tons of rock salt ready to be distributed, and today has over 750 pieces of equipment on the roads. The city’s main focus continues to be on clearing sidewalks, main streets, roadways and responding to public requests for plowing and salting. Boston Police and EMS has an increased presence and will be ready to assist people in every neighborhood.
Residents are encouraged to sign up for emergency notifications through AlertBoston and utilize the 311 call center for non-emergency related issues. 311 is operational 24 hours a day, and will have extra staff tomorrow to respond to calls. To find out more information about resources and services available to residents, please visit boston.gov/snow.
North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper said Thursday three people have died in the snow storm, Xinhua news agency reported.