Published in the January 3, 2018 edition

WIND-BLOWN SNOW swirls around this woman pushing a shopping cart down Chestnut Street last week as wind chills fell below zero. You can expect the same this weekend. (Mark Sardella Photo)

WAKEFIELD — As you may have heard, the region is bracing for a blizzard.

According to DPW Director Richard Stinson, the most recent forecast as of mid-morning today called for the town getting between 10 and 13 inches of snow, which will be accompanied by strong winds to create white-out conditions for much Thursday afternoon.

The storm is predicted to begin between 4 and 6 a.m., which the heaviest accumulation coming until about 6 p.m. Reading from the forecast from the weather service the town uses, Stinson said that between 6 a.m. and noon tomorrow the town will receive up to five inches of snow. Between noon and 6 p.m., the town will get another two to four inches of snow. And from 6 p.m. to midnight tomorrow, another inch to two inches will fall.

A parking ban on Wakefield streets will run from 7 a.m. tomorrow until 8 a.m. Friday.

A DPW supervisors’ meeting was held today to discuss wide-ranging topics, including preliminary time frames for pre-treating roadways, plowing and cleanup; how to deal with any tree damage, and how to allocate manpower should a water main break occur during the storm.

As of this morning, the DPW planned to have rubbish and recyclables collected Thursday.

Stinson said that if the forecast holds, cleanup will run until about 7 a.m. Friday. 

The DPW director also urged people to clear fire hydrants and catch basins of snow.

He added that it would be best if residents attacked snow removal as quickly as possible, since Saturday’s high temperature is expected to be a bone-chilling 3 degrees, and Sunday will range anywhere between -7 and 17 degrees.

Another inch of snow is possible Monday, although temperatures are expected to climb a little. Tuesday the town could receive up to three inches, with another small accumulation forecasted for Wednesday.

Schools are expected to be closed tomorrow.

In a message to Wakefield families, Supt. of Schools Dr. Kim Smith wrote:

“As our first winter snowstorm approaches, I want to remind families of our Learn Anywhere plan for school cancellation days.

“Students have been instructed by their teachers to go to our website to view their assignments. Parents can also view this website to learn more about what students will be doing and how they might support their children.

“A few things to remember:

“Learn Anywhere assignments are never due on the day students return to school. In this way, we provide flexibility for families and ensure students’ access to technology and any support they may need from teachers and/or service providers at school.

“Learn Anywhere is about students engaging in quality learning experiences that are connected to the current curriculum. It is not about counting the minutes that a student is sitting at a desk doing school work in an attempt to replicate the minutes of a school day.

“It is perfectly OK for students to sleep in, play in the snow, watch a movie, or make cookies on a snow day! Students and their parents will determine the time and pace that works best for each individual student to complete their Learn Anywhere assignments, utilizing the snow day and subsequent days prior to assignment due dates. There will always be opportunities to get extra help in school if needed.

“The WPS faculty and staff have done a tremendous job preparing for snow days. Depending on the forecast, this could occur as soon as this week.

“Learn Anywhere engages students in quality, real-time learning experiences that take place within the curriculum sequence. We believe that this is a much better educational option than tacking on make up days to the end of the school year in June.

“To review Learn Anywhere, please read the FAQs on the website, and do not hesitate to contact your school principal or me with additional questions.”