Trudging through knee-high snow, New Englanders began digging out from a blizzard Wednesday with grudging respect for the forecasters, who missed the mark in New York but were right on the money in the Boston area.
The storm buried the region in more than 2 feet of snow Tuesday and lashed it with howling winds of over 70 mph.
By Wednesday morning, the city was bouncing back quickly. Boston buses, subways and commuter trains were running again, and Amtrak trains to New York and Washington were rolling on a limited schedule. Flights began arriving at Logan Airport just after 8 a.m.
Capturing the city’s resilient spirit, an unidentified man was hailed as a folk hero after he was photographed clearing snow from the finish line of the Boston Marathon, where twin bombs killed three people and wounded 260 in 2013.
Morning commuters high-stepped their way through a warren of snowy paths and towering snowbanks that gave much of Massachusetts an almost alpine feel.
“I had to jump out the window because the door only opens one way,” Chuck Beliveau said in hard-hit Westborough. “I felt like a kid again. When I was a kid, we’d burrow through snowdrifts like moles.”
As the storm gathered earlier in the week, forecasters had warned that Philadelphia, New York and New Jersey could get 1 to 2 feet of snow. But in the end, they didn’t even see a foot, as the storm tracked farther east than expected and vented most of its fury on New England.
In New England, meteorologists had warned the city would receive more than 2 feet, and the National Weather Service said it got 24.4 inches, the city’s sixth-highest total on record. Other areas received 2 to 3 feet, pretty much as predicted.
“They actually got it right,” James Hansen said as he cleared a Boston sidewalk.
Boston is accustomed to nasty nor’easters and big snowstorms, and with ample warning that a blizzard was coming, officials mobilized thousands of snowplows and called up the National Guard to ensure a speedy recovery.
Early on, Gov. Charlie Baker made a key decision, ordering a driving ban to give crews a chance to clear the mounting snow. Baker said he wrestled with that, but it “worked pretty much as we hoped.”
“We’ve come out of this in relatively good shape,” he said Wednesday.
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Opening text from AP news story, New England Digs Out After Getting Exactly What They Expected, By Bob Salsberg and Mark Pratt.
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