Boston has its snowiest month on record
By Steve Almasy and Faith Karimi
(CNN) — Boston’s brutal winter has made its way into the record books.
After yet another blizzard last week, the city marked its snowiest month since record-keeping started in 1872, forecasters said Sunday.
“It’s official, Boston has reached its snowiest month on record with 45.5 total inches,” the National Weather Service tweeted early Sunday. “The old record was 43.3 in January 2005.”
And as the inches piled on, the city marked another milestone: third snowiest winter on record, with 89.2 inches so far.
Forecasters predict that a blizzard will linger until Sunday night. Cape Cod and the islands off the Massachusetts coast could see hurricane-force winds.
Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker has declared the next seven days ”Valentine’s Week” in an attempt to help restaurants, flower shops and other small businesses hurting from the record-setting snowfall.
Speaking to reporters about storm preparations for the fourth time in three weeks, the governor quipped, “There’s a little bit of deja vu all over again.”
The blizzard will bring drifting snow in many parts of eastern Massachusetts, Baker said.
Already, the snowfall is expected to be more than what was forecast as recently as Saturday night, Baker said Sunday morning.
He urged drivers to stay off the roads.
“Tomorrow is a holiday (Presidents Day), and it’s probably a really good time for everybody to come up with neat things to do indoors and right around your house,” he said.
This is a big one
Sunday’s storm will compound the exasperation caused by four weather systems that have dumped piles of snow on the city. Eastern Massachusetts is under blizzard warnings, as are parts of eastern Maine.
The snowfall is lighter, relatively speaking, in the western part of the state and heavier in the east. It’s expected to let up on Sunday afternoon.
Some gusts have been reported at more than 50 mph. Sustained winds of 30 to 40 mph will cause the snow to blow around and hamper visibility. Power outages can be expected in many areas, the National Weather Service said.
The collecting snow caused damage to an apartment complex in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, police there said.
A partial roof collapse at the apartment complex displaced 30 people, Portsmouth police Capt. Ken Smith said.
“There were no injuries but it did damage to two units on the upper floor,” Smith said. “This was most likely caused by snow load.”
About 20 miles to the south, in Seabrook, New Hampshire, a portion of a strip mall also collapsed because of snow, according to Mark Bibau of the local fire department.
No one was in the affected businesses at the time of the collapse, he said.
“A lot of these commercial buildings are flat (roofed),” he said. The chief is going around town looking at buildings “with a critical eye,” Bibau added.
Travel will be a nightmare
The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, better known to many as The T, won’t run Sunday, when the worst of the weather will hit. There will be no subway, bus, commuter rail, trolley or ferry service.
It’s the third time the subway has shuttered service because of a serious storm. Officials will decide on Sunday whether to cancel service for Monday.
And Amtrak has canceled six trains for Sunday.
There is no ban on driving, but it seems like a pretty bad idea.
“Travel will become nearly impossible,” the National Weather Service said. The snow will be a light snow, so it will fly around easily in the strong winds. Visibility will be a quarter mile or less during the storm.
More than 1,500 flights have been canceled for Sunday, according to Flightaware.com, which tracks cancellations for both weather and mechanical reasons. Many of those canceled flights were scheduled to depart from Boston and New York-area airports.
CNN’s Mariano Castillo, Carma Hassan, Paul Matadeen and Michael Guy contributed to this report.
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