Boston Declares Snow Emergency, Schools Go Remote Ahead Of Storm


BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — Mayor Marty Walsh has declared a snow emergency in Boston ahead of Wednesday's forecasted winter storm, including a parking ban starting Wednesday evening.

"Total snow accumulations may range between 9 to 13 inches, with the potential to up to 15 inches in some areas, and winds as high as 45 mph are expected," Mayor Walsh said Wednesday. "Residents are advised that a parking ban is in effect starting at 6 p.m., when vehicles parked on the street will start to be towed."

Meteorologists said following Wednesday night's heavy snowstorm, dry weather with colder temperatures and wind chill are also anticipated on Thursday and Friday.

"Boston hasn't seen a sizable snowstorm since March of 2019, over 21 months ago," Walsh said. "I am urging everyone to be ready and prepared. I ask all our residents and workers to be alert and remain cautious on our roads and sidewalks."

Mayor Walsh said Boston's Public Works Department will be working to pre-treat and clean the roads during the snowfall.

"We are asking residents and businesses to do their part by staying safe, shoveling their sidewalks, walkways, catch basins, and fire hydrants, and looking out for one another as neighbors," Walsh said. "The City of Boston will continue to share updates throughout the storm."

Trash and Recycling pick-up has been cancelled citywide on Thursday, December 17. Neighborhoods with a Thursday and Friday pick-up schedule will be delayed by one day. Starting at midnight, Street Sweeping is also cancelled until further notice.

Walsh said all Boston Public Schools school buildings will also be closed.

"All students, including students who were scheduled to report for in-person learning, will attend classes online for a partial day that will end 2.5 hours earlier than the regularly scheduled dismissal time," Walsh said. "There will be no in-person learning on Thursday."

As indicated in signage posted in BPS school parking lots, parking is not allowed in the lots during snowstorms, and vehicles may be towed if they are parked in BPS parking lots Wednesday evening.

All BPS meal distribution sites will be open Wednesday, December 16th until 6 p.m. instead of Thursday, December 17. Other meal sites in the City will also be closed on Thursday, December 17th. City officials said the sites will be open Wednesday to distribute extra meals, and residents are encouraged to check with their meal site for hours.

The City-sponsored mobile COVID-19 testing sites at Washington Park Mall and 1432 Hyde Park Avenue will be closed on Thursday.

Boston City Hall and all City departments will be closed on Thursday, December 17th. Boston Public Library locations will be closed, including BPL To Go services. Residents with appointments scheduled on Thursday, December 17th will be contacted by City departments to reschedule. All Boston Centers for Youth & Families are closed and in person programming is cancelled.

The Public Works Department will have equipment to pre-treat Boston's roads prior to the snowfall starting and has the ability to put over 600 pieces of equipment on City streets. The Public Works Department currently has 44,000 tons of salt on hand.

"The Office of Emergency Management is in constant contact with the National Weather Service to receive detailed forecasts for the City of Boston and ensure City departments have plans in place to handle the forecast," the City said. "Residents can sign up to receive AlertBoston notifications by phone, text, or email. Residents can call 311 for non-emergency related issues."

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Written by Brit Smith