Boston’s had it up to here with latest snowstorm
A yeti-shaped figure, struggling through the snow. Cities and neighborhoods turning into frozen dunescapes. Snowdrifts as tall as windows, fences and street signs.
It’s either the apocalypse or 2015 is off to a really rough start for New England, and things aren’t getting much better.
Another blizzard walloped the Northeast on Sunday, caving in roofs and testing sanity as this winter shapes up to be one of the snowiest on record for some areas.
Residents wearily broke out their shovels again as parts of Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Maine and New York received between 1 and 2 feet of snow, in the latest storm to strike this month.
The snowstorm, which also brought bitter cold and gusty winds, was more than just an inconvenience. Roofs collapsed on a strip of stores in Seabrook, N.H., on apartment complexes in Portsmouth, N.H., and Newburyport, Mass., and on other buildings across the region.
No injuries were reported. But psychic exhaustion was on full display in and around Boston, which was socked with more than a foot of snow Sunday, making February the snowiest month in the city’s history — with two weeks to go.
The National Weather Service reports at least 58.5 inches of snow have fallen on Boston since Feb. 1, compared with the previous record of 43.3 inches in all of January 2005. Much of it remains on the ground or plowed into massive drifts on sidewalks, turning’s the city’s roads into icy canyons taller than many humans in what has been deemed the third-snowiest winter in city history.
“There’s nowhere to put the snow. Nowhere at all,” said Kenny Jervis, 44, whose South Boston home has snow coming more than halfway up one of his windows. “It’s just piling up, piling up. Our backyard is filled up to the top of our 6-foot fence.”
Boston is certainly no stranger to harsh winters. But after weeks of brutal commutes, missed school days, missed church services and canceled events due to a state of seemingly perpetual winter emergency, the snow has become like an unwelcome houseguest — difficult to get rid of and impossible to ignore.
“People that have to shovel every day just to get out of the driveway, they’re going crazy,” said Jon Maul, a 37-year-old software engineer from Waltham, Mass.
A friend cried when she thought about having to shovel out her car yet again or driving home to Cambridge and not being able to find parking on the old suburb’s twisted streets, Maul said. Jokes or minor complaints can get a chilly reception.
“People are starting to get really bitter, and February’s not halfway over,” Maul said, adding that snow is not just everywhere outside but drifting all over social media too, where the topic and documentation of weather have become impossible to avoid.
“It’s so epic,” Maul said. “So much snow in such little time, it’s really all anybody can talk about. ... If you want do a little escapism and log into to Facebook or Twitter, you’re constantly warned about it.”
Emily Alberti, 27, a nurse from Quincy, Mass., agreed, having just seen photos on Twitter of locals going outside in the snow in bathing suits. “Everybody is going insane with all this terrible weather,” she said.
In between hours shoveling her car out, working 12-hour shifts at a hospital in Boston, commuting for over an hour, Alberti is burned out — and with theaters closed Sunday, she couldn’t even go see “50 Shades of Grey” and have something to talk about on Facebook other than snow.
“Everything on social media is terrible and annoying right now and you can’t escape it,” Alberti said.
The storm has been especially harsh on workers and small businesses, forcing shifts and appointments to be canceled.
“People are losing tons of money because everything is shut down; hourly wage workers don’t get paid when we miss work,” said Robin Jacks, 35, a nanny from the Jamaica Plain neighborhood of Boston. “There have been these days where school gets shut down, and parents don’t go to work, and I don’t get paid for these days.”
“You always hear people say, ‘I’m two or three paychecks from disaster.’ There must be so many families in Boston that have hit that,” Jacks added.
Among the snow’s victims Sunday was the Great Brook Cross Country Ski Touring Center in Carlisle, Mass.
That’s right: A ski center was closed because there was too much snow.
Snow’s omnipresence in Boston has brought not just a substantial amount of grumbling but several coping mechanisms, such as drinking. “It’s kind of nice having a shared enemy, but everyone has a fatigue,” said Thom Crowley, a 26-year-old stand-up comedian from Somerville, Mass., who said he and his roommate had cracked open beers while walking on treacherous streets to a nearby poker game. “Take solace in the small things, you know?”
The city has also been puzzling over the identity of the Boston Yeti, a person in a yeti suit who has been photographed shuffling through the snow and sitting in a drift, pawing at Valentine’s Day chocolates.
“The anonymity and mystery is what keeps the fun alive & well,” a Twitter user identifying him or herself as the Boston Yeti told the Los Angeles Times in a private message. “As you might suspect, this somewhat unprecedented snow has brought many down. I’m glad I’ve brought some light to those in the community.”
Meanwhile, Boston hopes the snow makes just like a yeti and disappears.
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