Snow catches Boston by surprise

Crash at Everett and Clevemont in Brighton. Photo by bbarbaruolo.Crash at Everett and Clevemont in Brighton. Photo by bbarbaruolo.

Update, 11 p.m.: Expressway in Dorchester at a complete standstill in both directions; six cars collided on the Zakim.

Drivers unaccustomed to powder-covered roads, coupled with a lack of salt, means spinouts and crashes are beginning to pile up. A Hummer ran up into a house on Lake Street in Brighton, but did no major damage to either house or people. Police shut Everett Street in Brighton after cars started playing pinball. Boston DPW salt trucks began blasting out of their yards to treat roads around 10:45 p.m.

Ed. note: I held off on raising the French Toast Alert based on a forecast that called for everything to melt by morning as temperatures rose into the 40s. I should have known better.

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treat the roads with what? Pixie dust?

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Boston DPW salt trucks began blasting out of their yards to treat roads around 10:45 p.m.

Snowfall started well before 10. Why did they wait until almost an hour afterwards to start spreading?

Also, every single DPW truck I saw in JP had a full-to-the-brim load of salt and wasn't spreading anything behind it, and this continued until about midnight or so. Kind of funny how trucks that had been out for an hour "treating" the roads were still full to the brim with salt, huh?

Half of them didn't even have their plows down.

Why did they wait until it started?

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The best and most effective use of salt: spray brine BEFORE the storm. Much less salt, much more effectively applied.

Can't go after climate change weather with 1930s practices!

Well, all the weather predictions for the immediate Boston area

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up until at least 10 pm last night were only for snow showers (i.e. NO accumulation). In fact, Downtown Boston wasn't even included in the Winter Weather Advisory that the NWS issued mid-evening for other parts of southern New England.

And let me ask this - do you immediately rush out and put down salt or shovel your driveway when you've seen only a few flakes?

Yes!

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I had salt down before the storm. No ice on my driveway this morning.

The weather had been very cold - just because air temps warm up doesn't mean that any wet stuff that hits is going to melt! Also, it didn't get as warm as predicted yesterday.

It ain't rocket science: it is what they do in Canada. Spraying brine ahead of a storm is a hell of a lot cheaper than melting ice and snow after.

still: why weren't they spreading while driving around!?

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OK, but still, why weren't they spreading any sand or salt afterwards?

It's like all the drivers want extra hours or something.

Also: how do you ID contractors working for the city, so that we can tell whether they're doing their jobs or not?

Man standing by disabled car on 93 hit

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Early this morning, a man standing by his disabled car by Exit 23 on 93 north in Somerville was hit by an SUV, State Police report.

The victim, from Stoneham, was taken to Mass. General with serious injuries following the crash, which shut two lanes of the highway.

Initial investigation indicates that the victim, a 25 year-old male from Stoneham, MA, may have been outside of his disabled 2002 Hyundai Elantra when he was struck by a 42 year-old male from Sudbury, MA driving a 2010 Ford Explorer. The Massachusetts Department of Transportation Highways Division and the Somerville Fire Department are also on scene.

The State Police statement does not say when the collision happened, but they issued it around 4:10 a.m.

French Toast alerts

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One thing with alerts and forecasts: damned if you do or don't. Put out a warning and people think you're a pussy who doesn't know how to drive in the snow (apparently there are quite a number of those types this morning). Don't put it out there, and people are crying "why didn't somebody DO something???"

Winter's taken its sweet-ass time getting here. Count yer blessings.

CRASH!

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And that was my house on Lake St in Brighton that squared off with the Hummer....what a &$%# mess!