Snow strains records and region’s patience

Schools closed, transportation snarled, Patriots parade delayed

After Boston went two months with barely a dusting, the recent battery of storms has brought more snow in seven days than in any stretch of that length in more than a century, according to National Weather Service records.

Monday’s storm, coming on the heels of a massive blizzard a week ago, seemed to gain steam through the day, dumping 15.9 inches by 7 p.m. at Logan International Airport. It triggered another round of school closures Tuesday and the postponement until Wednesday of a duck-boat parade for the Super Bowl champion Patriots.

Late Monday night, Governor Charlie Baker announced an 11 a.m. delayed start time for nonemergency state employees on Tuesday.


The snowstorm left one woman dead after she was struck by a plow driver outside her condominium complex in Weymouth on Monday morning.

Wind gusts reached 45 miles per hour, and snow fell as fast as 3 inches an hour. At Logan, the seven-day snowfall total recorded by the weather service shattered the previous record by several inches, while the 10-day tally approached 4 feet — meaning more snow has fallen in Boston over the past week and a half than the city sees in an entire average winter.

For many, the latest storm brought a sense of weary deja vu, shovelers once more digging out, drivers once again scraping windshields. Around the region, people huddled at bus stops and shivered on train platforms against a stinging mix of ice and snow.

“It’s out of control,” said Anthony Brancaccio, a 23-year-old from Boston, pulling his jacket tight and walking backward against a driving wind as he made his way around the curve at Center Plaza, across from Government Center. “After the blizzard” — a nor’easter last Tuesday that brought nearly 2 feet of snow — “it just seems like it just keeps hitting us.”


That storm last week caused officials to shut the MBTA, while the governor declared a state of emergency and imposed a ban on most travel. That was not the case Monday, so many awoke on the morning after the Super Bowl, laced up their winter boots, and ventured once more unto the breach.

“This is terrible,” said Gianna Teague, waiting for a bus on Brighton Avenue in Allston, her glasses fogged and her jacket encrusted with ice. The 24-year-old hospital researcher had checked the alerts at MBTA.com — though the Red, Orange, and Blue lines ran smoothly in the morning, the Green Line was hampered by trolleys that got stuck in the snow temporarily or broke down completely — and decided to take the bus, slipping and falling multiple times on the way to the stop. “I really wish my job had canceled work today.”

As the temperature dropped and the snow accumulated, the storm caught up with the Red and Blue lines, too. During the afternoon, the T announced severe Blue Line delays because of a switch problem, and cascading delays on the Red Line.

By 5 p.m., officials were running shuttle buses between JFK/UMass and Braintree. MBTA spokesman Joe Pesaturo said the line lost power from the third rail from Quincy to Braintree; some riders were reportedly stranded for more than two hours.

Snow, ice, and freezing temperatures also contributed late Monday night to a train derailment at the Fields Corner stop on the Ashmont branch of the Red Line, Pesaturo said.


Buses will continue to replace trolley service between Ashmont and Mattapan stations to the end of service on Tuesday, according to the T’s website. Passengers on all trolley and commuter rail lines on Tuesday should prepare for weather-related delays, the website said.

On the commuter rail, less than half of morning trains arrived on time, and multiple runs were canceled because of the storm, according to Mac Daniel, the spokesman for Keolis, the contractor that runs the T’s commuter rail.

The state Department of Transportation was busy all day and night on Monday, with more than 3,200 pieces of snow-plowing equipment out clearing highways.

The cancellation of Boston schools Tuesday, the sixth snow day of the academic year, pushes the last day of school in the district to June 29.

The National Weather Service recorded a peak wind gust of 45 miles an hour at about 1 p.m., while snowfall totals by Monday night hit 20 inches in Lunenburg, 19 in Fitchburg, and 14 inches or more in other parts of Worcester and Middlesex counties, and brought at least 9 inches to much of the rest of the state — with those totals expected to reach or exceed a foot in many places before the snow tapered off, weather service spokesman Bill Simpson said.

Boston’s previous record for seven-day snowfall was set on the seven days ended Jan. 8, 1996, with 31.2 inches of snow at Logan. By 10:30 p.m. Monday, the seven-day tally had hit 40.2 inches.


Out on the streets, not everyone was weary. In Allston, all-weather bicyclist Andrew Birkel, a 25-year-old MIT technical instructor who grew up in Maryland craving more blizzards, relished the snow. His boss in a physics lab was marooned on the South Shore, and another co-worker had a child to watch on a snow day. But Birkel was glad to pedal to campus to open the lab for students.

“The conditions are good,” he said, pausing on Commonwealth Avenue, smiling even as ice encrusted his beard. “I love biking in Boston, just because the plows come out often and regularly.”

And in front of a shopping plaza on Brighton Avenue, Ragab Mohamed, a visitor from Egypt, put down his Dunkin’ Donuts cup and scooped up a handful of snow.

“It is new — a new view — and it is good. I am very, very happy for the snow,” said Mohamed, a 40-year-old who had previously only seen flurries on a trip to Istanbul. “I love the snow!”

Globe correspondent Rebecca Fiore and Nicole Dungca, Andy Rosen, and Kathy McCabe of the Globe staff contributed to this report. Eric Moskowitz can be reached at eric.moskowitz@globe.com.