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NEW: Worcester Issues Important Winter Storm Updates

Thursday, February 13, 2014


With 5 to 8 inches of accumulated snowfall in Worcester, and more expected, the city continues to monitor winter storm Pax's impact on Central Massachusetts.

Tonight will bring a mix of light freezing rain after 6:00 p.m., with an expected transition back to snow and sleet continuing into early morning.

Worcester issued a Winter Parking Ban that went into effect as of 6:00 a.m. on Thursday, meaning that all parking is prohibited on either side of the main streets, but routes and Downtown streets. Parking is allowed only on the odd numbered side of all the other streets unless otherwise posted. Illegally parked vehicles are the biggest obstacle to effective snow removal efforts. Vehicles that violate the winter parking ban or otherwise hinder snow removal will be ticketed and towed at the owner’s expense.

The DPW&P commenced plowing operations at 11:00 a.m. Thursday afternoon, dispatching over 370 pieces of Departmental and contracted pieces of snow removal equipment to treat the streets. Its personnel, resources and equipment will be mobilized as required throughout the storm and its aftermath to keep all roads safe and passable.

Customer Service, Police, Fire, and EMS have had low call volume and no storm related emergencies at this point in time.

Important Phone Numbers:

Emergency Calls 9-1-1: The Emergency 911 Communications, the Worcester Police Department and the Worcester Fire Department will prioritize and will respond to all emergency calls. It is imperative the 911 system is utilized for emergency calls only.

DPW Customer Service Center 508-929-1300: Residents should call this number to report down trees, loss of heat, tree limbs, blocked roadways or other City related storm issues. Citizens should report all trees and limbs down, including those with entangled overhead wires. National Grid should also be notified of all downed wires (see below).

National Grid: The 24-hour Customer Service Line is 1-800-465-1212 for all power outages. All downed wires should be reported to National Grid. Some of these wires may be telephone or cable wires BUT all downed wires should be considered dangerous and NOT handled in any way. Everyone should be kept clear of the downed wires. Information as to National Grid repairs and restoration timelines should be directed to NGrid’s customer service personnel.


The WRTA is currently operating on Snow Routes.

Storm Preparedness and Storm Response Tips:

  • If your water supply could be affected by a power outage (a well-water pump system), fill your bathtub and spare containers with water. Water in the bathtub should be used for sanitation purposes only, not as drinking water. A pail of water from the tub poured directly into the bowl can flush a toilet.
  • Set your refrigerator and freezer to their coldest settings (remember to reset them back to normal once power is restored). During an outage, do not open the refrigerator or freezer door unnecessarily. Food can stay cold in a full refrigerator for up to 24 hours and in a well-packed freezer for 48 hours (24 hours if it is half-packed).
  • If you have medication that requires refrigeration, check with your pharmacist for guidance on proper storage during an extended outage.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions and guidelines when using a generator. Always use outdoors, away from windows and doors. Carbon Monoxide (CO) fumes are odorless and can quickly accumulate indoors. Never try to power the house wiring by plugging the generator directly into household wiring, a practice known as “backfeeding.” This is extremely dangerous and presents an electrocution risk to utility workers and neighbors served by the same utility transformer. It also bypasses some of the built-in household circuit protection devices.
  • Clear all home exhaust vents (dryer, furnace, etc.) of snow to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • Please assist and drag brush and limbs on our roadways that can be moved by hand to the nearest tree belts to allow for movement of vehicles.
  • Please clear snow away from hydrants near or in front of your home to assist our Fire Department and your neighborhood.
  • The City’s Sidewalk Snow Removal Ordinance is in place to keep our City-wide sidewalks passable and keep pedestrians safely out of the roadway. The Ordinance requires all sidewalks to be cleared 4’ wide and to be passable 10 hours after the snow ceases to fall.
  • Remember to pace yourself when conducting snow removal at home or at your business. This is physical and exhausting work. Please be sure to hydrate throughout the effort and rest as appropriate. Major snowstorms can peak emergency room visits for injuries related to snow removal. Be careful.
  • Please check on elderly neighbors and others in need.
  • Please be sure to exercise caution when clearing blockages or debris from power snow blowing equipment. Disconnect power cords, turn off switch, turn off keys and remove, disconnect spark plugs and use a wooden handle or pole to free up tillers.

Related Slideshow: Top 10 Blizzards in MA History

Prev Next

10.  Blizzard of 2006

Max Accumulation: Approximately 22"

February 11-13, 2006

Arriving on the evening of Feb. 13, this Nor’easter resulted in heavy snow, coastal flooding and a storm surge in Massachusetts. Wilbraham was the hardest hit area receiving more than 22 inches of snow.

Prev Next

9. Blizzard of 2010

Max Accumulation: Approximately 24"

December 22-29, 2010

This historic blizzard brought as much as two feet of snow to parts of Massachusetts and caused Boston to declare a State of Emergency.

Prev Next

8. Winter Storm Nemo

Max Accumulation: Approximately 25"

February 7-18, 2013

Total snowfall in Boston reached nearly 25 inches, making it the fifth-highest total ever recorded in the city.

Prev Next

7. 1969 Nor’easter

Max Accumulation: Approximately 26"

February 8-10, 1969

This storm blanketed many parts of Massachusetts with upwards of 20 inches of snow, including 26.3 in Boston.

Prev Next

6. Blizzard of 2003

Max Accumulation: Approximately 27.5"

February 14-19, 2013

Know as the President’s Day Storm II, this blizzard brought a record-setting 27.5 inches of snow to Boston.

Prev Next

5. Blizzard of 1996

Max Accumulation: Approximately 30"

Jan. 6-10, 1996

One of two blizzards to receive an “extreme” rating on the Northeast Snowfall Impact Scale, this storm blanketing parts of Western Massachusetts with upwards of 30 inches of snow.

Prev Next

4. Blizzard of 1978

Max Accumulation: Approximately 32"

February 5-7, 1978

This historic nor’easter brought a then-record 27.1 inches of snowfall to Boston and over 32 inches to Rockport. Additionally, the storm killed 73 Bay State residents.

Prev Next

3. April Fool's Day Blizzard

Max Accumulation: Approximately 33"

March 30 to April 1, 1997

This blizzard was no joke, dropping a record-breaking 33 inches on Worcester.

Prev Next

2. Blizzard of 2005

Max Accumulation: Approximately 40"

January 20-23, 2005

This three-day storm delivered more than 40 inches of snow in Mashpee, Massachusetts, one of the hardest hit areas. Some portions of Massachusetts reported 6 foot snow drifts.

Prev Next

1. Great Blizzard of 1888

Max Accumulation: Approximately 50"

March 11-14, 1888

One of the most severe recorded blizzards in the history of the United States, this superstorm dumped as much as 50 inches of snow in parts of Massachusetts.


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