That was close
Published in the January 9, 2017 edition.
WAKEFIELD — The town was spared the brunt of a powerful winter storm Saturday, one that in other parts of the state buried communities in over a foot of snow.
According to DPW Director Richard Stinson, about 7 1/2 inches of light, wind-driven snow fell on Wakefield during the storm that lasted from about 11 a.m. Saturday to 2 a.m. Sunday.
A total of 65 pieces of equipment — town-owned as well as privately contracted — were used to clear town streets. Stinson said the removal operations began Saturday with pre-treatment of road surfaces around 9 a.m. The DPW began plowing around 1 p.m. and at 2 p.m. full snow cleanup was started.
That cleanup went until about 2 a.m. Sunday, when snow finally stopped falling. From 2 a.m. Sunday to about 9 a.m., DPW crews treated roadways; in some cases, however, their hands were tied by a malfunctioning calcium distribution system on three or four of the town-owned vehicles.
Stinson said calcium is needed to make salt melt snow in low temperatures.
In addition, a town sander went down during cleanup efforts.
Stinson said he and other DPW administrators plan to let the coming weeks’s weather — with rising temperatures and rain — whittle away at come of the snowbanks.
The first big snowstorm of the year dropped more than a foot of snow on some areas of southern New England.
A powerful storm Saturday hit hardest in southeastern Massachusetts, Cape Cod and the islands. The town of East Bridgewater reported the highest snow total, a whopping 19.5 inches. Boston reported about 8 inches. Parts of Connecticut reported up to 10 inches, while parts of Rhode Island had up to 12.
Temperatures were expected to remain in the low 20s today.
A Massachusetts fisherman fell overboard near a pier in Provincetown during the snowstorm but was rescued.
The Coast Guard received a mayday call from a fishing vessel Saturday night stating a crew member had fallen overboard near the MacMillan Pier. A crew from the Coast Guard station in Provincetown arrived about 15 minutes later, along with the Provincetown harbormaster, who saw a flashing strobe light attached to a life ring the fishing boat’s crew had thrown to the fisherman.
Chief Petty Officer James Zerinskas said there were strong winds and low visibility due to the storm.
Two Coast Guard crew members transferred over to the harbormaster’s boat and helped pull the man from the 39-degree water. The man was treated for hypothermia.
At least 20 vehicles were involved in a chain reaction accident on a snowy stretch of Interstate 91 in Middletown, Connecticut, during the storm, though no serious injuries were reported.
— The Associated Press contributed to this report.