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South Shore towns see up to 18 inches of snow but little damage

HANOVER -- The overnight snowstorm walloped cities and towns south of Boston, many of which reported upwards of a foot of snowfall. Officials reported a flurry of fender-benders, and one serious accident in Hanover that sent a snowplow driver to the hospital, but for the most part the snow was too light and fluffy to cause much damage.

Hanover recorded the largest snowfall total in Massachusetts with 18 inches of snow. This afternoon, snowdrifts piled up on sidewalks but the roads were generally clear, with traffic moving at a normal, pre-rush hour clip.

The Nathaniel Sylvester home 1743 has seen many snowstorms in Hanover.

David L Ryan/Globe Staff

The Nathaniel Sylvester home 1743 has seen many snowstorms in Hanover.

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Michelle Locke, 49, was shoveling part of her large driveway on Main Street near the Hanover town center as two of her seven horses looked on from their barn and occasionally dropped their heads to munch on snow.

Locke said the storm forced her to attend to some additional needs for the horses, including regularly defrosting their water buckets in the barn.

“The water is a constant source of frustration when it’s this cold,” Locke said.

In addition, the regular hay feedings, which occur every six hours, became difficult as the snow piled up. Locke said the person who plows her driveway had not yet arrived when she left her house for the 6 a.m. feeding.

“It was not pretty,” Locke said. “I was at least up to my knees. ... I can see why people move south, but are you going to do? I’m not going to be a wimp.”

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Besides, she said, the winter storms are “a small price to pay to have this nice farm in a beautiful town and enjoy this kind of life.”

At around 8 a.m. this morning, a pickup truck with a snowplow crashed into a tree near 800 Main Street in Hanover, said Fire Chief Jeffrey Blanchard. By the time responders arrived on scene, a witness said the driver had already been taken to the hospital by a passerby.

As in much of the South Shore, schools were closed in Hanover.

In Scituate, which often sees major flooding during storms, the storm had little impact.

“It was wonderful in Scituate, we just had a plain, ordinary snowstorm,” said Fire Chief Richard Judge. “We didn’t get flooding, we didn’t get anything else.”

Fifteen inches of snow fell, he said, but it just did not stick – so power lines were spared falling tree branches, and there were no outages. Even the tides cooperated.

“The ocean was a very low astronomical tide last night,” said Judge. “The last five storms, it’s turned into ocean events, and that really taxes all the departments, to open up shelters, and the cleanup of the roads after the tide recedes.”

Brockton Mayor Bill Carpenter declared a snow emergency until 6 p.m. Wednesday, and schools and city hall were closed. People mostly stayed inside during the worst of the storm, said Fire Captain Jeffrey Gillpatrick – other than rush-hour fender benders, he said, it was a quiet night.

“They had medical calls,” he said, “but that’s a normal night anyway.”

Early Wednesday morning, Gillpatrick said the streets were passable but still slippery, in part because salt loses its effectiveness at very low temperatures. At 8:30 a.m., he said it was just 7 degrees.

Officials all over urged drivers to stay off the roads .

“Let the [Department of Public Works] do their jobs,” said Gillpatrick. “The schools are closed, city hall is closed. It’s a common sense thing, I would say.”

In Hanover, at the The Towne Pump on Hanover Street, Rick Mascrenhas was pumping gas for two customers and said he weathered the storm fairly well.

“It was powdery, all dry snow,” he said. “It was pretty easy to clean.”

Mascrenhas said he and a snow plower cleared out the area in front of the station without a problem. And while business was manageable this afternoon, the station was packed with customers yesterday who wanted to fill up before the blizzard.

“Oh, non-stop,” he said. “People prepare themselves.”

Heather Courtney, 20, stood in front of Town Hall this afternoon with her earbuds plugged in. She was waiting for her mother to pick her up after finding that the public library next door was closed.

She said she went to library just to “hang out,” but found it shuttered. Town Hall was also closed.

But Courtney took the setback in stride and said that for the most part, the storm had not rattled her.

“It’s just really cold,” said Courtney. “I just hope the power doesn’t shut off.”

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