Massachusetts handled winter storm’s feet of snow ‘smoothly,’ officials say

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Nor’easter snow storm stops traffic in the air and at sea
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The blizzard that dumped what was approaching two feet of snow on Boston went along about as “smoothly” as such a gigantic winter Nor’easter could, officials said as snowfall began to peter out and what’s expected to be a multi-day cleanup began.

“It pretty much behaved the way everyone thought it would, and that’s made a big difference,” Baker told reporters Saturday evening, after the true fury of Winter Storm Kenan began to wind down.

The storm — which at least some of the TV meteorologists officially deemed a blizzard, a designation technically based on wind speed and visibility marks over several hours — pounded its way through Eastern Massachusetts all day Saturday, with snowfall starting late Friday night but the teeth of the storm hitting late Saturday morning into the afternoon. Frigid winds howled as the tempest knocked out power for thousands, caused coastal flooding and required weary plow drivers working around the clock to even attempt to get close to dealing with the at-times three to four inches an hour of snow that swirled around the area.

Boston Mayor Michelle Wu said the city appeared on track for somewhere in the ballpark of 20 to 25 inches by the time the flakes stop falling. She’d been out and about around the city with the superintendent of streets, at the traffic bunker in City Hall and at the homeless engagement center at Mass and Cass before circling back home to Roslindale.

“Things are going pretty smoothly,” Wu told the Herald in a phone call. There had been some minor flooding in places, plus some power outages, but no major storm-related incidents. She said this is a “historic” storm both in terms of its magnitude but also in the city’s response, with a record 920 pieces of snow-removal equipment on the streets.

“This has been an incredible effort that was planned out very carefully over our last several days,” Wu said, crediting lessons learned from the brutal winters of 2015 and 2018, which was the last time a blizzard hit Boston.

Wu asked for people to remain patient and stay at home as the cleanup continued.

“There’s plenty of amazing Tom Brady footage to watch,” Wu cracked, alluding to the reports that broke mid-storm that the former Patriots great is retiring.

Both Wu and Baker thanked the public for largely heeding their pleas and staying at home and off the roads, particularly during the whiteout conditions in the heart of the storm, which kept heavy bands of snow lingering over Boston and the South Shore for hours.

“It’s made life dramatically easier for people out there removing snow,” Baker said in his press conference, noting that the Department of Transportation had 3,000 apparatus out.

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