Published in the February 9, 2016 edition.
WAKEFIELD — The town and those around it were spared a major winter blow yesterday during a storm that dumped about 4 1/2 inches of cold, dry snow on Wakefield streets. Forecasts called for up to twice that amount.
The DPW began treating road surfaces around 3 a.m. Monday and in the opinion of DPW Director Richard Stinson, the treatment seemed to work well enough to keep roads passable. The town began plowing with its own men and equipment around 6:30 p.m. and called in private contractors around 7 p.m.
The full plowing operation continued until about 12:30 this morning and then the DPW treated the streets again and cleared sidewalks and school properties.
Stinson reported minimal equipment issues in part because of the lightness of the snow.
“This was a long, dragged out storm,” he said, “and we have up to about 2 inches forecast for tomorrow. But you can’t time anything because the weather pattern’s all over the place right now. You just have to play it by ear and get ready for the next one.”
The wind-driven winter storm that brought blizzard conditions to Cape Cod fell short of forecast snowfall totals and spared the Northeast the widespread power outages that had been predicted.
Snowflakes were still flying Tuesday as New England residents continue mopping up from Monday’s storm, although little additional accumulation was expected.
Forecasters had predicted that some areas of New England could get up to 18 inches of snow. But by Tuesday morning, the hardest hit areas were Oak Bluffs on Martha’s Vineyard with almost 10 inches and Yarmouth, Falmouth and Brewster, all on Cape Cod, with 9 inches. Boston got 6.4 inches.
In New England, travel was expected to be slow at best even on well-treated roads but schools across the region that were closed on Monday were expected to reopen, although some were delayed.
The storm lasted into early Tuesday in New Hampshire, where the first-in-the-nation presidential primary is being held. The weather service said snow will be light and fluffy and accumulation will be modest.
The weather service also confirmed that blizzard conditions were reached in six locations on Cape Cod and the islands.
Blizzard conditions are described as falling snow that reduces visibility below a quarter mile, with winds gusting frequently to 35 mph or more, for three hours.
New England residents were warned to be vigilant while driving as treacherous roads caused dozens of accidents. In Connecticut, a bus carrying about 70 passengers from New York City to the Mohegan Sun casino crashed on a snowy Interstate 95 and fell on its side in Madison. At least 30 people were injured and the northbound side of I-95 was temporarily shut down.
Associated Press writers Mark Pratt, Bob Salsberg and Philip Marcelo in Boston; Denise Lavoie in Whitman, Mass.; Kathy McCormack in Concord, N.H.; Holly Ramer in Hampstead, N.H., and Pat Eaton-Robb in Hartford, Conn., contributed to this report.