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Street Clearing Ongoing in Braintree After Beastly Blizzard

The current plan is to open Braintree schools on Tuesday.

While the main streets and many of the side roads in Braintree were cleared of snow by Monday morning, the town is continuing to target smaller roads and push snow away from intersections to clear sight lines.

"There's a lot of work remaining to be done," Chief of Staff and Operations Peter Morin said Monday morning.

Front loaders and other heavy equipment ranged throughout the town Monday moving snow into giant piles and heaving large amounts into dump trucks to be taken to the landfill for melting.

Plow drivers from the DPW and contractors hired by the town worked from Friday afternoon straight through 11 p.m. Saturday night, Morin said. Officials then brought in heavier equipment to assist with removing snow.

Truck maintenance issues caused by the large volume of snow slowed down the effort somewhat, Mayor Joseph Sullivan said on Sunday.

"When you get a storm of that magnitude you do have equipment failures," Sullivan said. "We pushed through... Friday night and Saturday were some very challenging times."

In addition, three plow contractors working in Braintree moved on to other assignments after Saturday, Morin said. He said that he is unaware of why they left, but that it likely was not financial. Some contractors do private driveways and other work and they may have gone to serve those clients, Morin said.

The blizzard dropped more than two feet of snow on Braintree, lashing the town with high winds Friday night into Saturday. Schools closed Friday and Monday, and Town Hall and Thayer Public Library shut down early Friday.

Much of the region was paralyzed on Saturday and Sunday, with the MBTA halting service altogether Saturday and much of Sunday and Gov. Deval Patrick keeping non-essential vehicles off the roads statewide through Saturday afternoon.

Braintree Town Hall re-opened Monday morning and the town bustled with people heading to work, stopping for coffee and digging out. The plan as of Monday morning is to open schools on Tuesday, Superintendent Dr. Peter Kurzberg said.

Residents found themselves intermittently without power throughout the weekend.

Power began failing in places around 5 p.m. Friday as trees broke apart or were uprooted and damaged BELD's transmission system, Braintree Electric Light Department GM Bill Bottiggi said in an email.

"This happened on a number of our primary circuits," Bottiggi said. "The only way to safely remove the trees was to kill the power to the circuits causing outages."

Crews were pulled back around 11 p.m. Friday night as high winds and snow made conditions too dangerous. They returned to work 8:30 a.m. Saturday.

"We spent the day Saturday restoring power to the vast majority of Town," Bottiggi said. "There were some lingering outages throughout the weekend due to tree limbs on wires and services being pulled off homes, again by tree limbs."

On Sunday, Braintree residents throughout town experienced a resurgence in lost power as NSTAR connections to Braintree's system, damaged by the storm, went down and caused relatively short outages of two hours of less, Bottiggi said.

abdul February 11, 2013 at 06:34 PM
I personally think Braintree did pretty good job of cleaning then other neighboring towns, also I would like to thank BLED for a good response. Joesph I would love to know how much snow braintree got and what was the bill for all this. Thank you in advance.
Joseph Markman (Editor) February 11, 2013 at 06:49 PM
Hi Abdul, thanks for your interest. The National Weather Service is saying 24.1 inches for Braintree, though its listed source is "media." I've also seen 23 inches and 28 inches. I will follow up with the mayor's office on the total cost of the storm. Usually they get solid numbers a couple days out.
abdul February 11, 2013 at 08:28 PM
thanks joseph
ST February 12, 2013 at 06:01 PM
I am disappointed with the response of the Town of Braintree! The side roads were and are still poorly plowed. The most concerning was the state of the sidewalks and the school areas. The alternative bus route which would have required children to wait on the corners of main roads, with snowbanks taller than them, in the street! The Highland's School sidewalks were not cleared, the snowbanks were taller than the crossing guard! Parents and children were forced to walk in the street competing with traffic. There was a police officer who parked his suv cruiser on the street further impeding the sightline of drivers and pedestrians and quite frankly not assisting in helping the flow of traffic. To add insult to injury, the Mayor's Chief of Staff was standing there with his hands in his pockets......shouldn't he have been in his office trying to figure out why the contractors quit and who they could get to replace them so people were not put in harms way just trying to get their children to school safely???? I think that would be a better use of his time. Further, another town employee, thought it best to put his car in park, in the middle of Wildwood Ave. and unload his children and walk them to the school???? Are you kidding me? Apparently, the judgment and use of time of the towns employees was lacking. The Mayor and his staff should have closed the schools for one more day if it meant proper and adequate clearing of the school areas for the safety of the children.

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