Blizzard of 2015: Updates, Cancellations, and Other Storm-Related Info
As the “potentially historic” Blizzard of 2015 continues in the Boston region, cancellations and parking restrictions are still in effect, and preparations from local and statewide emergency agencies are underway. You can follow along with all of the updates related to the blizzard below:
Tuesday, January 27:
5:11 p.m.: After a “ton of work” was done over the past day-and-a-half, Governor Charlie Baker said he was pleased with the progress that’s been made in terms of clearing away snow. While much has been accomplished, however, the work is far from finished. Baker said the storm will continue into the night, and in some places well past midnight. Despite the fact that they’re expecting additional snowfall, Baker said he signed an executive order to lift the driving ban statewide beginning at midnight. “That said, people need to keep in mind there’s a tremendous amount of cleanup that remains to be done,” he said.
The MBTA will also be in service Wednesday morning, running on a normal schedule, but officials warned that riders should expect there to be delays, and said that trains may arrive later than usual. “There’s no reason to believe that we won’t be up and running on all lines,” state officials said during a press conference. Bus service may be impacted depending on the road conditions in specific cities and towns, but updates can be found on the MBTA’s website.
A parking ban is still in effect in the city of Boston, and school’s in the city will remain closed Wednesday.
12:25 p.m.: When addressing the press on Tuesday afternoon, Governor Charlie Baker said that the state is dealing with two storms, essentially: one in the Eastern part of the state, and another in the West. A driving ban remains in effect for Boston and cities and towns closer to the coastline, but residents in Western Massachusetts can travel freely on a local roadways if necessary.
Baker said that the T will remain closed for the remainder of the day, and officials will reassess the situation later on Tuesday before making a decision about what will happen tomorrow.
Baker said the snow drifts have been in an issue in many places, and he urged people who can, and have the opportunity, to look in on their neighbors to be sure they’re safe. The governor will update residents on storm conditions again at 5 p.m.
10:28 a.m.: There were no major incidents reported in Boston overnight, according to Mayor Marty Walsh, but various departments within the administration are continuing to monitor the storm’s impact. “Thank you to all the residents who are staying off the roads to keep them clear for snow equipment and emergency vehicles. Please continue to adhere to driving restrictions, and keep an eye on your neighbors.”
Walsh said that the Public Works Department has 715 pieces of equipment dedicated for snow and ice removal out on the streets, and crews are focused on keeping major arterials and secondary roads passable. “As the storm decreases in strength, crews will focus on widening streets to the curb and plowing alleys and dead ends,” according to a statement from the mayor’s office.
9:52 a.m.: According to MassDOT highway officials, there are approximately 3,540 pieces of equipment deployed statewide, clearing the roads of snow. As for driving—even though there’s a ban on non-essential vehicles—the speed limit on I-90 is still restricted to 40 mph from the New York border to Route 128/Weston. In Boston, exit 14 on I-93 north for Morrissey Boulevard remains closed because of flooding. MBTA workers are also out doing their part during the blizzard.
8:48 a.m.: The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency has an interactive map running on their website that tells customers, in real time, which areas have been impacted by power outages. The data on this site is updated every 15 minutes, and users can simply hover the mouse over a specific area to get the latest details. To keep up-to-date with news around Boston, city officials are sharing information using the hashtag #BOSnow on Twitter.
7:20 a.m.: Thousands are without power across the state, and the blizzard has dropped more than 15 inches of snow in some areas, but officials said early Tuesday morning that so far things are going better than expected given the extreme weather conditions.
According to the National Weather Service, the blizzard will continue to hit the Bay State through tonight. Calling the ongoing storm “historic” and “crippling,” weather officials said the blizzard warning will remain in effect until 1 a.m. on Wednesday. “The worst of the storm will be through this afternoon, diminishing tonight,” according to weather predictions.
Although the MBTA is still shut down for the entire day Tuesday, workers spent the night driving Green Line trolleys up and down the tracks to keep them clear of snow, so that workers will have a safe commute come Wednesday.
— MBTA (@MBTA) January 27, 2015
Monday, January 26:
5:26 p.m.: During a follow-up press conference, Governor Charlie Baker said people should be thinking hard about their next move if they live in coastal areas, and that it’s very important they take the types of precautions his administration has been talking about. For everyone else, he said people should get ready to “hunker down” at least until Wednesday.
5:03 p.m.: With a driving ban in effect beginning at midnight, Uber announced that it would be suspending services in accordance with Governor Charlie Baker’s decree. According to officials from the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency, however, ride-sharing services like Uber can still operate during the driving ban so long as they are doing so with good reason. “Ride-sharing services [are] only exempt during travel ban if they’re providing transport for an exempt category,” officials said in a tweet.
According to State Police, those exemptions can be found here.
4:50 p.m.: It’s getting nasty out there, folks. People are already reporting that they’re standing in long lines at the grocery stores, sitting in traffic, and having problems fitting on Commuter Rail trains. The Red Line looks bad, too.
2:45 p.m.: NStar is promising customers that they will be working hard to keep the power on. According to a message sent out to customers, if a household loses service, they should call 1-800-592-2000, or report the outage on their mobile device or home computer on NStar’s website. “It’s important that you report an outage even if you think your neighbors may have already reported it. The more information we have, the more thorough our assessment of damage will be, ensuring repairs are expedited,” according to NStar officials. “Most important, please stay safe. If you see a downed power line, always assume it’s live; do not go near it, and never drive over the line. Please know that NStar is ready for the storm and we are working around the clock for you and all of our customers.”
1:06 p.m.: Mayor Marty Walsh is urging all Boston residents to take this storm very seriously, and asking people to do their part by staying off of the roads, moving their cars, and putting public safety first. During a press conference on Monday, ahead of the storm, Walsh declared a city-wide “Snow Emergency,” beginning at 6 p.m. Parking facilities will open at 4 p.m. for people who need places to put their cars, and private garages will offer discounted parking. Boston Public Schools will also be closed on both Tuesday and Wednesday, the mayor said.
12:30 p.m.: Governor Charlie Baker has declared a State of Emergency for the entire Commonwealth and enacted a travel ban, which takes effect at midnight, on all non-essential vehicles on the roads. Service on the MBTA will be also be shut down on Tuesday, the governor said during a press conference. “With public safety of paramount importance, all modes of MBTA service will be suspended all day and night on Tuesday, January 27,” according to T officials. Drivers who don’t follow the rules of the driving ban could face a $500 fine. Baker called the blizzard a “top-five historic storm.”
11:53 p.m.: Boston University will be closed on Tuesday due to the storm. That means students will have plenty of time to prepare for an epic snowball fight.
11:32 a.m.: While there’s no word on what impacts the storm will have on the MBTA as of yet, T officials are relaxing their ban on parking restrictions at MBTA garages. Spokesman Joe Pesaturo said people are permitted to leave their cars in MBTA parking garages overnight without penalty.
10:47 a.m.: State Police announced that they have deployed emergency vehicles in specific areas throughout the state to assist residents who are at risk of flooding. They are also ready to answer thousands of possible distress calls given the predicted magnitude of the blizzard. “Once calls are answered, they are either connected to the appropriate barracks for dispatch of MSP units or connected to the city or town police/fire department of jurisdiction. Using past major storms as a guide, MSP call-takers will field several thousand calls during this event,” officials said. State Police will keep people up-to-date about storm information through their Facebook and Twitter accounts.
1o:43 a.m.: A Cambridge “Snow Emergency Parking Ban” will go in effect at 4 p.m. Any cars that are parked on streets that have signs reading, “No Parking During a Snow Emergency” will be ticketed and towed until the ban is lifted. Other Cambridge alerts can be found on the city’s website.
10:4o a.m.: The city of Somerville has declared a snow emergency for Monday, beginning at 1 p.m. According to officials, schools will remain open for the entire day, but all city buildings will be closed beginning at 4:30 p.m., and all evening events are canceled. Parking is allowed only on the odd-numbered side of the street, and vehicles must be off the roads by 5 p.m. Tuesday’s trash and recycling pickup has been delayed until Wednesday, weather permitting.
10:37 a.m.: Due to a the Blizzard Warning from the National Weather Service, Hubway will temporarily close all stations beginning at 7 p.m. No bikes can be rented after the temporary closure has begun. Any bikes in use at the time of closure can be returned to any Hubway station with an available dock. “Throughout the day, Hubway field staff will be applying covers to some of the docking points at many stations to protect them from snow accumulation. This will reduce the actual number of docks available in the system and will impact the accuracy of dock availability numbers displayed on Spotcycle and other Hubway-related apps,” Hubway officials said.
10:30 a.m.: All domestic flights in and out of Logan International Airport are cancelled beginning at 7:30 p.m., according to airport officials. “With a storm of this magnitude, it’s our goal to keep everyone safe and to keep ahead of the storm,” said Ed Freni, Massport’s aviation director.