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Boston doesn’t often make weather-related headlines. We’re far enough north to be safe from most hurricanes, and we’re sufficiently coastal and temperate to be spared the worst of New England winters. In the seven years I’ve lived here, the city’s dodged storm after storm that have left our neighbors in all directions badly damaged. Boston seemed weirdly blessed.
Then it started snowing a few weeks ago.
As of 7 AM this morning, Boston has received more than 61″ (155 cm) of snow in the past 30 days, or about 40% more than we receive in an average year. In our suburb, we’ve received something north of 18″ in just the last 24 hours, which means all the work my wife and I did to clear the drive and walkways has been undone. You know you’re in trouble when you have to shovel away snow piles just to make room for new ones. You’re past that when you’ve had to do it twice already, and know you’ll have to a third time.
In the history of natural disasters, of course, this doesn’t even rank. There’ve a few roof collapses, and surprisingly minor power outages. The biggest hassle — besides shoveling — has been transportation. Boston’s roads aren’t good in the best of conditions, and they’re a complete mess right now.
Public transportation has been even worse. The MBTA is the oldest subway system in the country, and some of the train cars have been in service since we were landing people on the Moon. Much of the system is above ground, too, which means the trains’ third rails can fail in poor weather, causing trains to lose power (that’s what happened to these poor folks). We’re fortunate enough to childless and able to telecommute, but others are in a real bind.
Anyway, I’m off to do some shoveling. How’s the winter your way?