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Preparations for winter storm announced by Mayor Walsh

January 18, 2019

Mayor's Office

Published by:

Mayor's Office

Mayor Walsh urges residents to take caution and abide by snow regulations during Saturday's winter storm. 

Mayor Martin J. Walsh today announced preparations for tomorrow's winter storm. While forecasts are still being finalized, the storm has the potential to bring up to 12 inches of snow to Boston, starting at 8:00 p.m. on Saturday. Snow will be heaviest from midnight to 6:00 a.m. on Sunday, with the potential for low temperatures, sleet and freezing rain.

All residents and businesses are encouraged to shovel and salt their sidewalks immediately Sunday morning, to ensure the precipitation does not freeze to sidewalks and driveways. A decision regarding parking bans will be shared on Saturday.

The Public Works Department currently has 42,000 tons of salt on hand. During any storm, 750-800 pieces of equipment are readily available to assist with snow clearing efforts. Boston Public Works have also been pre-treating Boston streets with salt to prepare for the winter storm.

"We are encouraging residents to use caution when traveling, assist older neighbors and those who are disabled, and keep up with the shoveling of their property throughout the storm this weekend," said Mayor Walsh. "The City of Boston and our Public Works are prepared for all storms that come Boston's way, and we ask that residents and businesses do their part, including shoveling their sidewalks and walkways, to ensure safety for all. Please remember to abide by the snow rules, stay off the roads and be safe."

Residents are encouraged to sign up for emergency notifications through AlertBoston and utilize Boston's 311 call center for non-emergency related issues. To find out more information about resources and services available to residents, please visit boston.gov/snow.

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, 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.
  • Do not throw snow onto the street.
  • Please look here for information about fines associated with improper removal of snow.
  • As a reminder, no cars are allowed to park in Boston Public Schools parking lots during a snowstorm.
Safety Tips
  • Shoveling snow requires significant exertion; please be cautious and pay attention to any health 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 snow piles 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.
Public Libraries and Community Centers
  • Boston Public Libraries and Boston Centers for Youth & Families' community centers will be open 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. Please ask them if they need assistance.
  • The Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC) operates two emergency shelters at 112 Southampton St. and 794 Massachusetts Ave. open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
  • BPHC is working closely with a network of shelter providers to ensure there is adequate shelter, food, and a warm respite from the cold.
  • Street outreach teams providing recovery services, including the Engagement Center remain operating as normal during winter weather.
  • More information available here.

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 visit boston.gov/snow for the latest updates.