August 15, 2020

Boston breaks snowfall records ‘weather’ we like it or not

2014-15 has been the second year in Boston's history that snowfall has surpassed 100 inches, second only to the winter of 1995-96. (Photo by Celia Golod '17)

After nearly three major blizzards and dozens of scattered storms, the city of Boston has received a little over 100 inches of total snowfall this past season. According to the National Weather Service for Boston, MA, this has been the second time the city has reached 100+ inches of snow, the first of which was in the winter of 1995-1996.

Further snowfall means more snow days, but also has more dangerous consequences. According to the Boston Herald, over 80 reports of roof collapses due to snow and ice accumulation have been filed this winter.

Roads have also become increasingly narrow as plows push snow to the sides. “It is definitely harder to drive. Many two-lane streets have become one lane, and high snow banks make intersections dangerous,” said an anonymous male senior.

Student drivers agree that it is important to be cautious on the constricted, icy roads. “Driving has gotten a little scarier with the slippery and narrow roads, but I’m always sure to be extra careful especially on roads that haven’t been plowed as often as the main roads,” added Ilana Shektman ’15.

To add to further transportation distress, the MBTA has been experiencing recurring delays and cancellations due to the snowfall, leaving many out in the biting wind with no means of transportation. Many service alerts were also found to be inaccurate, adding to the frustration. “I went into Boston over vacation and obviously things were not running as smooth as possible, but I think officials are trying their best. I think Wellesley is very lucky compared to other suburbs as the Riverside line and commuter rail are still functioning,” said Mui.

According to the Boston Globe, with nowhere to put the snow, the city of Boston is evaluating the possibility of pushing snow into the Boston Harbor. Green Team co-president Abbey Mui ’16 acknowledged the detrimental effects this act would have on the environment. “Snow from the city is very filthy as a result of salt and trash. Will it have an effect on the ocean? Certainly! But some people argue that desperate times constitute certain extremities. Therefore, [the city] must take into account all the circumstances surrounding this issue before passing judgment,” she said.

Students and teachers who commute from Boston have been experiencing traffic and delays more often than usual, due to snow. “It’s very hard to drive in the snow, even for experienced drivers. Everyone is trying to be cautious on the roads because of the amount of snow we have. There’s nowhere for people to park or even stand, which can be dangerous if drivers can’t see people or drive around them,” said Rainelle White ’15. “I have [also] experienced MBTA delays, and they’re really bad. It stinks because you can’t really do anything about the snow; we just have to learn to work around it. Everything is delayed because of the snow, the trains and buses come later then normal which is inconvenient because people have places to go and no one wants to stand in the cold any longer then they have to.”

The large amount of snowfall has tested Boston’s ability to cope with travel emergencies and other unexpected situations. “The delays would be less severe if the MBTA actually put in the effort to update the entire system decades ago. If they can’t even deal with a snowstorm, there is no way a system like this can hold up when hypothetically hosting the Olympics,” said an anonymous senior.

While many seniors don’t mind the extra snow days as they do not have to make them up, most others are hopeful for the snow to melt and for spring to arrive.

(Noor Pirani ’15, Editor-in-Chief)

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