New England

Winter Storm Moves Out of Boston; Coastal Flooding, Power Outages Possible

Coastal flooding and high winds are the key concerns on Monday

High winds and coastal flooding are replacing snow as the biggest potential weather hazards as the work week gets underway in Massachusetts.

The snow is expected to wind down Monday, while winds are kicking up.

Coastal areas of Massachusetts will bear the brunt, with Nantucket and Cape Cod at risk from gusts as high as 65 mph.

Already, some coastal flooding has been reported in Scituate and Sandwich.

The wind, as well as heavy wet snow clinging to branches, brings the risk of power outages. The state's largest utilities were reporting about 7,000 power outages as of Monday afternoon.

"I'm certainly a little concerned and we all are. As the winds pick up and the temperature falls, a lot of the sticky snow now sitting on trees and power lines may contribute to power outages," Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker said. 

The snow began falling on Sunday afternoon into the evening and some areas had already received 10 inches of snow as of Monday morning. Northern Middlesex and Franklin counties took the brunt of the Sunday-Monday storm, with Rowe reporting 12.5 inches of snow, and Pepperell and Tewksbury reporting a foot each. Boston got 3.4 inches.

"This snowstorm was crazy," Boston Mayor Marty Walsh said Monday morning. "It kind of faked us all, but it's still bad. I can't quite figure it out."

Boston and hundreds of other area schools cancelled classes on Monday, and many cities and towns put parking bans in effect. More than 1,300 flights were canceled on Sunday, including nearly 300 at Boston's Logan International Airport. Maine's Portland International Jetport cancelled all departing flights through Monday at 8 p.m. 

The start of jury selection for the Aaron Hernandez murder trial on Monday was also postponed due to the storm. Massachusetts courts delayed their opening until 10 a.m.

Walsh said the parking ban in Boston was lifted at 8 a.m. Monday, and schools will reopen on Tuesday.

The storm was not without some problems. A Massachusetts Department of Transportation contractor sander truck was hit by a vehicle at the on-ramp to Interstate 290 on Monday morning. No one was injured.

In Bedford, Massachusetts, a small plane with five people aboard aborted takeoff and slid off a runway Sunday at Hanscom Field about 20 miles northwest of Boston. The plane was headed to Teterboro Airport in New Jersey. No one was injured. It wasn't immediately clear if the weather played a role. 

Also in Bedford, a pedestrian was struck and killed by a plow on Sunday. Police are also investigating a pedestrian hit-and-run crash involving a plow truck that occurred Monday morning in Worcester, Massachusetts.

A terminal at Boston's Logan International Airport was briefly evacuated Sunday evening due to high levels of carbon monoxide believed to be caused by a snow-melting machine. Massachusetts State Police said Terminal C was "vented" and returned to normal operations a short time later.

While many people were still weary from cleaning up from Thursday's storm, others relished the thought of more powder.

Tina Fuller, of Waltham, Massachusetts, decided to walk about 15 minutes to her local grocery store Sunday to get some sauce and cheese to make lasagna.

"I could have drove, but you know what? I wanted to enjoy the snow," the 60-year-old nurse's aide said. "It's very quiet. Sometimes the snow brings that peace. It's almost like God told everybody to take a rest. With all the things happening in the world, why not enjoy these days?"

There were reports of several spin-outs and crashes, but no major injuries have been reported.

The MBTA is operating on a normal Monday schedule. Amtrak's Downeaster will be operating on a limited schedule. Severe delays were reported on the Red Line on Monday morning, but Baker said overall he was pleased with the way the system operated through the storm.

This storm may not be the region's only chance for snow this week. Another storm system is expected to hit Wednesday into Thursday. At this time it doesn't look like a huge storm for southern New England, but it may be significant for the state of Maine.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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