SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Local News

February 11, 2013

The Big Dig (out)

Some shovel, others sled after storm dumps 2 feet on area

While some were still digging out after this weekend’s blizzard yesterday afternoon, others had fun sledding, throwing snowballs and making snowmen.

About 2 feet of snow piled up in most North Shore communities as predicted by weather experts, according to the National Weather Service.

“Unfortunately, they were right,” said Bob Whalen as he cleared the 3 feet of snow pushed onto the sidewalk in front of his Colon Street home in Beverly around 5 p.m. yesterday. It took him five hours to clear his driveway on Saturday with a snowblower he bought two years ago, he said.

“This is the first time I used it,” he said. “I went all out. I did five straight hours.”

At Lynch Park in Beverly, dozens of families lined up at the hill near the entrance to sled.

“Our kids are always excited for the first big snowfall of the year,” said Kevin Hachey of Hawk Hill Road in Beverly, who was there with his three kids.

He said it took two hours for him to clear his driveway Saturday and about 45 minutes to clear the walkway, but they “escaped” to the park yesterday to have some fun. “The kids are having a blast,” he said.

In Salem, a trained spotter recorded 25 inches, while there was 24 inches reported in Topsfield and 23 inches in Marblehead, according to the NWS.

About 240,000 homes and businesses, mostly along the southeastern Massachusetts coast and on Cape Cod, were without power yesterday morning and some might be without it until Tuesday, officials warned. National Grid did not report any outages in Salem or Beverly last night.

Several police departments said the statewide traffic ban, which was lifted around 4 p.m. Saturday, was very helpful. Departments reported minimal problems throughout the storm’s duration.

Many parking bans in area cities and towns remained in effect as of late last night. As of press time, public schools in Beverly, Danvers, Ipswich, Marblehead, Peabody, Salem, and Swampscott remained closed today as DPW workers continue to clear roads and sidewalks. North Shore Tech and Essex Aggie were also closed today.

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