, Salem, MA

February 9, 2013

Plow fire among a short list of problems as North Shore weathers blizzard

Cheryl Lecesse
The Salem News

---- — As snow continues to fall steadily across the North Shore, area police and fire departments report no known outages and minimal problems.

Salem Fire Department seems to be one of the busiest, however, having responded to a plow fire last night, and a horse that had fallen down in a fenced-in field and a pipe burst at the Great Escape restaurant this morning.

Salem fire Deputy Chief Gerry Giunta said the plow fire on Scenic Terrace, reported at 10:28 p.m. last night, was fully involved when Engine 4 arrived. Firefighters called for a second engine to respond because heavy snow had buried hydrants in the area and they were relying on their tank water to extinguish the flames.

Firefighters will be out tomorrow uncovering hydrants, but Giunta said if residents digging out today are able to do the same, every little bit helps.

This morning around 10:30 a.m., Salem fire's Engine 4 responded to a report of a horse that had slipped and fallen in its fenced-in field on Swampscott Road. Lt. Erin Griffin and firefighters Patty Marfongelli, John Klinetob and Randy Theriault helped the horse up on its feet, Giunta said.

“Luckily so far we've been able to get to every place we needed to go,” Giunta said.

Every department reached said Gov. Deval Patrick's executive order banning motor vehicle travel was a  big help. The order remains in effect until 4 p.m.

“It's been pretty quiet,” said Danvers police Lt. Dana Milne. “We're fortunate that the governor's ban on driving has kept people off the roads,” which has allowed DPW plows to do their jobs, he said.

In Peabody, which has a new snow emergency system in effect this winter, police Lt. Scott Wlasuk said residents have for the most part heeded both travel and parking bans.

“It seems everyone did the right thing as far as getting their vehicles off the road,” Wlasuk said. “We've been in pretty good shape.”

As people begin to dig themselves out, Milne reminds residents not to throw snow into streets. 

The storm, dubbed "Nemo" by the Weather Channel, has dumped at least 2 feet on the region since yesterday morning. The U.S. Postal Service suspended service across New England. Both the Northshore and Liberty Tree malls remain closed for the day, in addition to countless other businesses.   

Salem also experienced minor coastal flooding during high tide last night and this morning, Giunta said. Flooding was reported on lower Bridge Street, and down by the Willows on Columbus Avenue, he said.  Beverly police said there were no major coastal flooding problems reported.