Despite Melting Snow, Cleanup Remains Slow in New England

On sidewalks, street corners, roads and homes, the cleanup continues from last Thursday’s snowstorm. But in some sections of Boston, the snow remains untouched, never shoveled nor scooped up nearly a week later.

“It’s a hazard, it’s extremely dangerous. I haven’t heard about anybody getting hit, but I’ve seen very close encounters,” said Jessica Martinez of Dorchester.

Some crosswalks are blocked by mounds of snow on Gallivan Boulevard in Dorchester, and some street corners, like East Third Street in South Boston, are impossible to see around.

"You can’t see any cars coming and if you want to go left and a car’s coming from your left, you got to go the other way, it’s just a big pain," said Brian McCarthy of South Boston.

And as more and more snow clearing complaints come in to the BOS:311 app, the city says code enforcement officers are out ticketing property owners for not clearing the snow.

"They’re definitely fining people, I’ve seen people pull up and stuff taking pictures, but I don’t really know if it’s making a difference," Sambo Poole of Dorchester said.

In the meantime, neighbors are stepping up to try to help clean up the spots still covered in snow.

"As a community, we do try and help each other shovel," said John Vo of Dorchester.

"It’s definitely a community type of feel, everybody got to get in, shovel and do their job, that’s the only way anything’s going to get done basically," Mitchell Jean-Louis of Dorchester said. 

As residents try to deal with the mess outside, some people are trying to deal with bursting pipes in their own homes.

"When water gets to a certain temperature, below 32 degrees, it expands," said Jesse Cormier of Milltown Plumbing & Heating. "By expanding it blows the pipe open. Once it turns to ice, game over."

He responded to one home in Chelmsford, which was seriously damaged after a pipe burst.

"You got to really be in tune with your service provider," Cormier said. "Yearly service, that way your heating doesn’t go out in the middle of the winter."

On roofs, it's a rush to crush before ice dams mixed with rain cause other kinds of damage in homes. 

"It ranges completely from just a minor stain in the ceiling that needs to be painted right down to tear down drywall and ceilings," said Richard Melo, general manager of Newton Roofing Residential. 

Ice dams trap water on roofs, forcing it to go under shingles and leak. 

"You’re basically submerging that roof system underwater," said Melo. 

The Boston Water and Sewer Commission is clearing out hydrants. They’re asking the public to help with the storm drains before it causes street flooding. 

"Maybe if it does start flooding, I’d go out and see if I could shovel a little,” said Lenore Haskins of Dorchester. "But I don't shovel and (my husband) can't either." 

Nancy Harris owns Rent All of Boston. She said she doesn’t mind the flooding because she’s the one who sells the pumps. 

"Love the rain," said Harris. "It’s going to keep us busy for the next three weeks."

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