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Mayor Walsh announces preparations for weekend winter storm

January 7, 2017

Mayor's Office

Published by:

Mayor's Office

The Mayor is urging residents to use caution and follow the City's safety tips.

Mayor Martin J. Walsh today announced preparations for this weekend's anticipated snowstorm, which is expected to bring 8-12 inches of snow. The Public Works Department (PWD) will have 190 pieces of snow equipment pre-treating roads in Boston by 11:00 a.m., and 420 pieces of snow equipment will be active on roadways by 1p.m.Over 30,000 tons of salt will be available, and additional equipment is ready to be deployed as needed. Commuters are encouraged to take public transportation when possible throughout the evening as PWD crews work to fully clear roadways.

The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Warning in effect Saturday 7 a.m. until Sunday 1 a.m. The snow is expected to begin after 11 a.m. and be heaviest between 1 and 7 p.m. Strong winds gusts of up to 25MPH are to be expected as well. The Office of Emergency Management is actively monitoring the forecast.

"With expected accumulations reaching nearly a foot of snow over the course of the day, we are encouraging residents to use caution if they need to travel and keep an eye out for our neighbors, especially our seniors during this time," said Mayor Walsh. "The City offers a number of resources geared towards keeping residents safe and aware of current conditions. I encourage everyone to sign up for emergency notifications through AlertBoston and utilize our 311 call center for non-emergency related issues."

Residents are encouraged to help neighbors and assist during this snow event by clearing sidewalks and shoveling out hydrants. To find out more information about resources and services available to residents, please visit the City's snow page.

For the latest updates

Residents are encouraged to sign-up for AlertBoston to receive emergency alerts and to call 311, download the BOS:311 app, or tweet at @BOS311 with questions or concerns. Follow @CityofBoston and boston.gov/snow for the latest updates.

Rules on clearing snow

  • Property owners must clear snow, sleet, and ice from sidewalks and curb ramps abutting the property within three hours after the snowfall ends or three hours after sunrise if it snows overnight. Failure to comply will result in a fine issued by Boston Public Works Code Enforcement.
  • Removal of snow and ice from a private property to the street or sidewalk is prohibited and will result in a fine issued by Boston Public Works Code Enforcement.

We have more information, including the fines associated with the improper removal of snow, on our snow removal rules page:

Rules on clearing snow

Safety tips

  • Shoveling snow requires significant exertion, please be cautious and pay attention to symptoms. Stop if you feel chest pain, shortness of breath, lightheaded, nauseous/vomiting. Call 911 if those symptoms do not resolve quickly when you stop exertion.
  • Snow piles can make navigating intersections dangerous for walkers and drivers, please take extra care when turning corners with snowpiles that might limit visibility.
  • Pedestrians should use caution as visibility will be diminished due to blowing and drifting of the snow caused by high winds. 
  • Carbon Monoxide poisoning is a concern during winter weather, especially with the use of generators. Residents should be sure to use their home heating systems wisely and safety, and have a working carbon monoxide detector on each floor of your home. Call 911 immediately if you suspect Carbon Monoxide poisoning.
  • Sitting in a car while idling can be deadly if the tailpipe is blocked. Do not let children sit in an idling car while shoveling.  Clear any household exhaust pipes of snow. For example, gas exhaust from heating system or dryer.
  • Remember to keep catch basins and fire hydrants clear.
  • Please check on neighbors, especially the elderly and disabled.
  • Have a contractor check the roof to see if snow needs to be removed. If roof snow can be removed from the ground with the use of a snow-rake, do so with caution. Avoid working from ladders and be mindful of slippery surfaces.

Libraries and community centers

All Boston Public Libraries and Boston Centers for Youth & Families Community centers will be open during normal business hours. Please check their schedules.

Helping the homeless

  • If you see homeless individuals out  in the cold who appear immobile, disoriented or underdressed for the cold, please call 911.
  • The Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC) coordinates a city-wide network of emergency shelters, outreach providers, city agencies and first responders to assist those in need of shelter.
  • Emergency shelters are open 24 hours and will accept any person in need. Men can access shelters through 112 Southampton Street, and women should go to the Woods-Mullen Shelter at 794 Massachusetts Ave.
  • BPHC and the City are working closely with shelter providers to ensure that no client is without shelter, food, resources, and a warm respite from the cold.
  • Emergency shelters are open 24 hours and will accept any person in need.
  • During extreme cold weather, street outreach teams operate with extended hours and provide mobile outreach vans on the streets in the evening and throughout the day.