The storm that has battered Braintree and the region with high winds and piles of snow is the worst Braintree Mayor Joseph Sullivan has seen since he took office.
"The DPW is working incredibly hard, but a storm of this magnitude, as you try to stay in front of it, there are always challenges," Sullivan said early Saturday afternoon.
Widespread power outages hit Braintree last night, and each section of town has at least some homes still without electricity, but less than 50 overall, Sullivan said.
The mayor pointed to an incident on Cleveland Avenue as an example of BELD's quick work. A tree limb downed a power line there last night at about 6:30 p.m. and BELD was on the scene within 30 minutes despite the quickly falling snow.
"Overall I think we’ve come through this very well," Sullivan said. "This is the most challenging storm I’ve had as mayor.”
A decision on whether or not to open schools Monday morning will likely come Sunday afternoon or evening. Though crews may be able to clear each school's parking lots and driveways by Monday, if sidewalks and other passageways are not clear it may be difficult to get students to school, Sullivan said.
Gov. Deval Patrick announced that a statewide travel ban will be lifted at 4 p.m. Saturday. To help keep the roads clear for plows and utility workers, Sullivan has extended the town-wide on-street parking ban until Sunday morning, at least 6 a.m.
Sunset Lake is available for people without driveways or multiple cars, Sullivan said, and the DPW is working to clear space at the municipal lots and Town Hall.
The mayor and fire department are encouraging residents to clear snow from fire hydrants near their homes. Residents should also avoid throwing snow into the street.
Some 23 inches of snow had fallen on Braintree by Saturday morning, Sullivan said, with some areas of town, especially East Braintree near the water, seeing drifts of three feet or more.