SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Local News

January 4, 2014

Region digs out

Storm causes flooding in areas, minor accidents

SALEM — Residents across the region spent yesterday shoveling and plowing their way out from under up to 2 feet of snow, but authorities said it was largely a smooth process, and there were no major incidents.

Salem meteorologist Arthur Francis said the city got a total of 15 inches of snow — 8.7 inches on Thursday and 6.3 inches yesterday — and temperatures dropped to zero the night before last, with wind-chill temperatures reaching minus-20.

In terms of snow accumulation, Boxford led the area with 23.8 inches, according to the National Weather Service. Nevertheless, Boxford police dispatcher Ron Dole said yesterday that there had been “no real incidents to speak of.”

“It’s very, very quiet,” Dole said.

Salem DPW director John Tomasz said the multi-day cleanup had gone well, though the Ice Melt the city had used didn’t work like it should have due to the extremely low temperatures. The department planned on deploying trucks again this morning to put more on the streets.

After the snow, authorities were particularly concerned about the 12:19 p.m. high tide, but Salem Harbormaster Bill McHugh said the city didn’t see any coastal flooding.

“It was remarkably quiet,” McHugh said. “Other than having to clean up some white stuff, I think we made out pretty well.”

Marblehead wasn’t as lucky, with surging waves forcing the closure of the causeway leading to Marblehead Neck, a section of Front Street and Atlantic Avenue near the town line with Swampscott. Also closed was Ocean Avenue, where large rocks had been thrown into the roadway, and Doakes Lane, which had been rendered nearly impassable by flooding. Most roads were reopened by 3 p.m.

Swampscott also saw flooding as a result of the very high tide, and sections of Atlantic Avenue, Puritan Road and Humphrey Street were closed for about two hours. DPW Director Gino Cresta said the problem wasn’t just the water in the roadways, but everything it brought with it.

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