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Snow Emergency Declared, Parking Ban in Boston

(NECN: John Monahan, Boston) - The city of Boston has hundreds of pieces of equipment out to clear the roads.

To help make their job easier, a snow emergency and parking ban is in effect in the city beginning at 9 p.m. Saturday.

Alternative parking lots will be open. For more information, go to http://www.cityofboston.gov/snow/ or call the mayor's hotline at 617-635-4500.

After a nearly a snowless winter last year, Mother Nature is back at it. And a barely-out-of-the-hospital Mayor Thomas Menino is back in action declaring a snow emergency to make sure Boston is ready for its first measurable snowstorm

Snow removal equipment is trying to keep ahead of the winter's first big snowstorm.

With 850 miles of roads to oversee, city officials are asking residents to do their share by helping keep sidewalks and plowed roads clear -- especially with frigid temperatures expected for the next week or so.

That also means to keep your car off restricted streets.

And because of this storm, the city declared a snow emergency. That means if you're parked on any of the city's main arteries after 9 p.m., your car will get towed.

The city will also be coordinating with shelters like Pine Street to help get homeless indoors.

And while all of this is standard for any big snowstorm, this storm is coming just before Boston's big bash: First Night. So even though the weather is perfect for blocks of ice waiting to be carved into frozen sculptures...

… The rest of us need to be sure to bundle up if we're coming into Boston to celebrate.

"We anticipate the roads and sidewalks will be clear for First Night and make sure you dress sensibly because it's going to be very very cold," said Chris Cook, director of Boston Arts, Tourism and Special Events.

Because this is a fast-moving storm, public works crews hope to have much of the snow cleared away Sunday morning in plenty of time for First Night celebrations come Monday.

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