Caitlin Fichtel

Your Guide to Navigating the Storm in New England

The storm is expected to bring up to 22 inches of snow across much of the state

Massachusetts is in the throes of a winter storm expected to dump over a foot of snow on parts of the state. 

This afternoon Mayor Marty Walsh announced the Boston Public Schools will be closed Wednesday as the city recovers from the storm.

Walsh said Boston's snow emergency will be lifted at 7 a.m. on Wednesday and the city will start to shift its attention on cleaning up.

"The focus right now for all of us is clearing the main arteries, responding to public safety requests, and plowing and salting all of the streets in the city of Boston," Walsh said.

Walsh told NBC Boston Tuesday morning that it's important that people stay off the roads. 

"When you get a storm this late, particularly after we had beautiful weather 2 weeks ago, it's frustrating to some folks, so we're just asking that you be patient out there," Walsh said.

This morning, Governor Charlie Baker warned people that while there may only be light snow in Boston now, forecasts were calling for 2-4 inches an hour when the storm decended upon the city.

 "The most important message on this one is for people to stay away from the plows and the first responders, and the folks who are out there working the roads," Baker said.

In his Monday afternoon news conference, Walsh said Boston Public Libraries would be closed and only public safety, emergency management and snow operations personnel for the City of Boston would be required to report to work on Tuesday.

The mayor said the city still has $5.5 million of the original $23 million remaining for snow removal and was asked how this snowstorm could compare with the storms of 2015.

"In 2015 most of our storms happened on the weekend, so it was easier for us to manage the storm, when we had Friday, Saturday, Sunday to cleanup after the storm. This happens at rush hour, so it's a difficult storm," Walsh said.

A snow emergency and parking ban on main roads is in effect in Boston and discounted parking is available in city garages. Locations and pricing information can be found at: Boston.gov/snow. Cars were being towed from West Broadway in South Boston.

For a full list of road closures, you can check out the city's website.

Baker stressed the voracity of the storm, as the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) expected the snow to fall at 2-4 inches per hour beginning on the south coast and southern points of Massachusetts. 

MEMA predicted snowfall amounts of nearly two feet across parts of the state. 

Wind gusts of 30-50 mph inland and 60-70 mph along the Cape and Islands were expected as well as minor to moderate coastal flooding. 

Much of Baker's Monday news conference centered around how the particular agencies are dealing with travel restrictions, as well as public safety and power outages.

Highway Travel 

MassDOT highway crews and contractors will be treating roadways throughout the day, and activated for snow clearing deployments as conditions warrant. HOV lanes will not be opened for Tuesday’s morning or evening commutes. Tandem trucks and specially permitted vehicles (propane) will be restricted from travelling the Turnpike as of 7 a.m. Tuesday. State officials urged motorists to stay clear of plows and at the height of the storm as there will be 4,000 pieces of equipment on the roads at any given time.

"This storm is going to give us everything we can handle. It's a large amount of snow in a very short period of time," said MassDot Highway Administrator Tom Tinlin.


The MBTA is planning to operate a normal weekday schedule, with the exception of ferry and Mattapan Line service. Tuesday ferry service is suspended and the Mattapan Line will be replaced by bus shuttles. Bus service may put on snow routes or suspended depending on conditions.

MBTA officials said crews have been preparing for the storm for several days by salting and sanding walkways and platforms. They also plan to use anti-ice equipment and activate track heaters to maintain power connections once the storm hits.

"I like how they're warning people what trains are going to be cancelled and how they have signs all over the place to let people know that snow is coming, to be prepared. I think that's really good," said commuter Sean Gilligan.

Officials said passengers can expect 15-25 minute delays system wide. Commuters are encouraged to be patient, allow plenty of time for travel and plan ahead by checking http://www.mbta.com/winter/ or @MBTA on Twitter for real-time updates.

Commuter Rail 

The Commuter Rail will be operating a severe weather or “blue level” schedule. Commuters are encouraged to visit http://www.mbta.com/winter/commuter_rail_advisory/ for schedule information. 


Amtrak has cancelled Acela service Tuesday between New York City and Boston.


Travelers are encouraged to check with their airline carriers for information about their flights. As of Tuesday afternoon, more than 800 flights had been cancelled at Boston's Logan Airport while another dozen had been delayed.

Power Outages 

Due to the high winds and heavy snow, significant power outages are anticipated. The wind must be less than 35 miles-per-hour for crews to take on restoration of power lines. People are urged to stay away from downed wires and contact their power provider in the event of an emergency. 

Eversource 800-592-2000

National Grid 800-465-1212

Unitel 888-301-7700

Public Safety 

Keep home and auto exhaust vents clear to prevent carbon monoxide exposure and avoid downed utility wires. Assist in keeping sidewalks, and fire hydrants and storm drains in your neighborhood clear. If you should lose power during the storm, visit www.mass.gov/dfs for safety tips if lose from the Department of Fire Services on home generators, carbon monoxide and candle safety tips.

Here is a comprehensive list of emergency resources, including contact information for transportation, power problems, and public safety.

Mall Closings 

• Auburn Mall, Auburn, MA – Closed

• Burlington Mall, Closed at 11:30am

• Emerald Square Mall, North Attleboro, MA – Closed

• Kittery Premium Outlets, Kittery, ME – Closed

• Lee Premium Outlets, Lee, MA ¬– Closed

• Liberty Tree Mall, Danvers, MA – Closed at 1pm

• Merrimack Premium Outlets, Merrimack, NH – Closed

• Northshore Mall – Closed at NOON

• Pheasant Lane Mall, Nashua, NH – Closed at 1:30pm

• Solomon Pond Mall, Marlborough, MA – Closed

• South Shore Plaza, Braintree, MA – Closed at 1pm

• Square One Mall, Saugus, MA – Closed at 1pm

• The Mall at Fox Run Newington, NH – Closed at 1pm

• The Mall at Rockingham Park, Salem, NH - Closed at 1:30pm

• The Mall of New Hampshire, Manchester, NH – Closed at 1pm

• The Shops at Chestnut Hill – Chestnut Hill, MA – Closed at 1pm

• Wrentham Village Premium Outlets – Wrentham, MA - Closed

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