Boston’s Winter From Hell

Feb 20, 2015 · 200 comments
KBronson (Louisiana)
"The End of Snow?". NYT, Feb 8, 2014
MsPea (Seattle)
The good citizens of MA elected themselves a Republican governor who took office just last month. Everyone knows the deep animosity that Republicans feel toward the federal government, and it's hard to picture Mr. Baker swallowing hard to go hat-in-hand to ask the Feds for help. So, your plea for some federal assistance will no doubt go unheeded.

The governor's website says, "Our vision is to deliver a state government that is as thrifty, creative and hard working as the people of Massachusetts." So, to match your governor's "vision" maybe just think of the money you're saving because the power is out (thrifty), figure out how to fix your own roof (creative) and get out there and shovel (hard working).
TomTom (Tucson)
I'm sorry to hear all this and we do have friends living through it (I think).

What would you have the Feds do? Have Mass and the cities asked for the help?

In any case, good luck.
Mike Murray (Oregon)
Sitting here in Oregon where we are having record low snowfall, barely any rain and an endless stream of too warm days I would like to suggest that Boston give us our weather back. We desperately need the snow that you have.
me not frugal (California)
It might interest the writer to know how Boston's snow issues are being covered by my local news, here in California. After the network news package is shown -- cars encased in snow, frozen fountains, a crushed roof, people doing dumb things in the snow, cars sliding, spinning, crashing, the harbor frozen, the mail being delivered no matter what -- the snarky news anchor almost always says, dismissively, "They see that much snow in (Lake) Tahoe every year." Invariably, both anchors then congratulate themselves for having moved away from their home states in New England and the Midwest. The attitude seems to be that it snows a lot in Boston, and you all should know how to deal with it.
John (Indianapolis)
Payback for deflating footballs through a systemic process since the mid-2000's. God's wrath.
LW (Best Coast)
Out here in the Sunny West, we'll let you in on a little known secret:

Zeya (Fairfax VA)
So sorry for everything you're going through. Your wonderful city certainly deserves much more help and direct assistance from our federal government. I hope your Op-Ed draws attention to Boston's desperate plight. Good luck!
NYHuguenot (Charlotte, NC)
The maternity wards will be very busy August to September this year.
Kirsten A. Hubbard (Worcester, MA)
See also: The rest of the state!

Complete with funny images like: Kids flipping around a gymnasium with no lights or heat! (Class wasn't cancelled but free donuts next week, so, ok!)

And, apocalyptic visions: Roofs of a single sheet of plywood! Water mains bursting, old and new! Almost-deadly hookah bars!

Or, all of above: Open meeting for $30M airport upgrade, to benefit a single airline, that no one can fairly attend under the circumstances, but duly-submitted report on no net loss of wetlands makes it fine?
Primary Care Doc (Tennessee)
We feel for you in the rest of the country. Even though we have enjoyed a bit of cold weather and everyone complaining, all we have to say is "those people in Boston have had it a lot worse" then we all feel better about our weather. Empathy may help you feel better about your lot but that does not solve the problems. Good luck and maybe this will be impetus to help out the infrastructure.
Mpalfreyman4 (Leno)
Great op-ed, EJ.

For those of us in the Boston area, these last few weeks have felt like living in a Stephen King novel. In many ways it still does.
sipa111 (NY)
There seems to be a lot of Governor bashing going on. Did not the good liberals of Massachusetts quite recently vote for the Republican governor. Why all the whining now?
Stephanie (Boston)
All true and I will add that even for those of us who have companies where employees can work from home it's not just business as usual but at home. Mail in and out has been, at best, spotty but out of town vendors still expect us to operate as usual. During Sandy anyone with a brain and compassion doing business with companies affected knew to back off and let them recover, but not so with our snow tragedy in 4 parts.

But, it is certain that we will recover! And I propose we have the biggest-ever city-wide spring-has-sprung party the day the first croci show up in town and not invite ANYONE from the fed gov or any out of staters.
ferd (largo)
Climate change will soon start to seriosly cull the human herd. Welcome to the future. Have a nice day.
blackmamba (IL)
Oh man and woman up Boston!

We had this kind of weather in Chicago last year about this time. We called it winter.

But leave it to Bean Town to whine and navel gaze. Until the 2004 MLB season Chicago had two teams that had gone without a World Series Championship longer than the Red Sox. The Cubs won in 1908 and the White Sox in 1917. All we heard about was 1918 Red Sox and Babe Ruth. Then the Red Sox won in 2004. And the White Sox won in 2005. Then the Red Sox won again in 2007 and 2013. Communists!

And don't get me started on the so- called Patriots of New England as compared to my Chicago Bears in terms of Super Bowl championships.

If this Boston winter is from Hell and you no English speaking funny talking aliens can not "paak yooh caah by the habaah" who cares?

You deserve it. So many professional sports championships must be the result of a soul selling deal with Lucifer. And Satan is just priming you all for a C or F shock in his own devilish way.
Callie (Rockbridge County, VA)
Oh, poor you. The view from the academic ivory tower is the white flag of victim hood. Geeze, Louise. How have Buffalo, Rochester, Chicago, Montreal and so many other major cities and urban areas survived through snow and ice storms over the years? Maybe, just maybe, this winter's snow will cause the people of Boston and the Commonwealth to demand more of their politicians than rhetoric. Maybe they'll pick up the phone and demand competence over political cronies can't get the job done at the MBTA. Or are you all going to get-by like poor old Charlie of the song and keep riding because you can't get off the "same-as-it-always-was system" you've elected? Sure, right now the situation is not great but for Pete's sake, stop whining and figure out how to work through it and once on the other side get a backbone and use this winter's failures for demanding better political and agency leadership.
Wisconsin tough (Janesville, Wi)
Last February I attended a national curling event in Boston. The day after we arrived, the city was hit by a snowstorm, and I witnessed some of the most--how can I put this nicely?--random snowplowing/snow removal efforts I have ever seen. I didn't think snow removal was something you could feel smug about....go figure.
Gl Cln (Wimberley, Texas)
PLEASE Mr. President...Help out Boston. My heart goes out to them.
Anne184 (Cambridge, MA)
I feel a little less crazy for weeping at the bus-stop this morning. Normally every 10 minutes, the expected bus disappeared from the map and another one not for 90 minutes. One more 2.5 mile trudge through bitter cold. I walk as a rule as the neglected transit system is borderline useless, and filled to the brim with fed-up commuters. We're watching the leaks and snow dams get worse as no roofers answer our daily calls, or answer with messages such as "We are only responding to towns N, W, L- but not C [mine]." And I feel luck that we have small leaks-- none of the frozen pipes, collapsed roof, or fallen ceilings that many here are suffering. I want to flip off the transportation and government officials who have let the MBTA turn into a Soviet era transportation system why most of them drive to work. I worry for this weekend's rain, the inevitable flooding and refreezing. I worry for my neighbors, the homeless, the parents, the businesses. I talked with two homeless guys on the bus last weekend-- both in lightweight jackets and no gloves. "Keep warm" they told me as I disembarked. This is a slow moving major disaster-- but a major disaster nonetheless.
RM (Buffalo, NY)
Old Man Winter really outdid himself this year! Here in Buffalo we have had a persistent 3 feet of snow that hasn't melted. Even with our international reputation for snow, this is unusual for us. From water mains bursting, to so many car accidents - it's been really tough here as well. In the City of Buffalo, with our narrow streets and street parking, it's more and more apparent that our city government needs to invest in smaller, European plows -and other solutions to make life LIVEABLE during terrible weather spells like this. We feel for you, Boston!
usmc-fo (Somewhere in the Maine woods.)
Glad I left the Boston burbs four years ago! Shipped my son off to his life at UVM, and two days later waved goodbye to eastern Mass and moved here to the coast of Maine. More snow here than I have ever seen too....but obviously with fewer people, and fewer who believe government is really able to deal with sliders that come across our plates from time to time we manage to just deal with it better than the thinly veiled panic revealed in this OpEd.
rob blake (ny)
Stop whining...
It won't help.
Andy (Boston, MA)
you wrote..."alleged mismanagement of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority" do you think??? The T has been a problem forever and the subject has been talked about forever but any reform was considered political suicide because it employs everyone's cousin. I expect no changes...

The winter weather has given the local news program a ton of free programming and they just pound into our heads all the misery we're facing.

Slow down, understand your routine is going to be disrupted and enjoy a historical period of weather...we'll all be complaining about the heat in 4 months.
Lure D. Lou (Boston)
I want to see if Southie abides by the reserved parking ban. For those of you outside the area this means that in South Boston, one of the more 'traditional' of Boston naeigborhoods, people feel that when they shovel out a parking space it belongs to them from here to Eternity. They put garbarge cans and lawn chairs and even police tape across the slot. If you enter you can expect a broken window, a deflated tire or worse. Prediction: theis year There Will Be Blood!
If any one person is taking up two seats on public transportation they must yield one seat to anyone who requests it. Failure to yield extra seat is A Violation Of Subway Rules And Is Punishable By Fine Or Suspension. (Wash. Dc)
Boston needs to activate a citizens militia that is armed with snow shovels.
Coolhunter (New Jersey)
I've been told that hell has frozen over. Could that be true? Did hell relocate to Boston?
Manitoban (Winnipeg, MB)
No doubt we shall call it climate change. Because everything is climate change. Too warm? Climate change. Too cold? Climate change. Too much snow? Climate change. Too little? No rain? Too much rain? Not enough green? Overgrowth of green? Climate change.

There is no imaginable set of weather occurrences that cannot be labelled as such. It's the ultimate non-falsifiable claim. No rigorous standard of demonstrable specific prediction required. Bear the standard onward, ye faithful disciples!
Sam (Concord, NH)
That the MBTA cannot make its trains operate in snowy, and predictably cold and snowy, conditions is inexcusable. The lack of leadership on the management of the "T" has been, quite frankly, the disaster that was waiting to happen.

This should smother any notion of Boston hosting the Olympics.
Elizabeth (NY)
And to add further insult to the countless listed injuries, in January we had a big spike in gas and electric utility rates due to the inability to get sufficient natural gas into Massachusetts via pipeline. So the average utility bill is way up as well. Cambridge, MA.
PK (Lincoln)
On the other hand, the U.S. has super nice aircraft carriers, a new NSA $8bil office, and cops with tanks, so it isn't all bad. Putting tax money into bank bailouts instead of mass transit and green energy is a decision with a downside. Wake up!
Bruce H (Boston)
The problems we are having is the result of two failures of planning. Failure number 1 is failing to consider the possibility of a second (and third and fourth) significant storm. Streets are not plowed curb-to-curb, large piles are left at the corners, snow is left on the roof, etc. on the expectation/hope that the sun and warmth will return in time to clear the mess before the next storm. In real snow country this much snow is not a big problem because every storm is cleaned up knowing another is coming soon.

Failure number 2 is not have a disaster >recovery< plan. Emergency planning comprises getting ready as much as possible for the coming storm but doesn't include (apparently) what steps to take when your preparedness is not enough. As an example, the T's planning for snow storms is to run trains throughout the storm round the clock to push the snow off the tracks (normally the T shuts down overnight). When we have a blizzard they stop doing this because the trains can't keep up with snow and get stuck. Also, this tactic doesn't help keep the switches operating. So what is the recovery plan... a combination of sending humans out with propane torches to clear the switches and using non-specialized equipment (like front end loaders) to clear the tracks. See about 30 seconds into this news report
William (Alhambra, CA)
A friend whose elderly parents live in Lexington, MA, points out that roof collapse is a real danger for many people. Even if roofs hold up, if any melted snow pools in cracks, nooks, or crannies, it will expand when frozen and cause more damage.
Richard Pokorny (Kinderhook, NY)
It is indeed a disaster for Boston, and I share the sense of helplessness and dismay. What I missed in the article is what's causing it: global warming (ironic as it may seem, since it's so cold and snowy). That's the even bigger disaster, because this is just the beginning, and almost nothing is being done about it.
Differing Bostonian (Boston)
I am also a Bostonian, and have certainly seen and suffered the results of the storms of the last month. But Graff's piece strikes me as overstated and self-dramatizing--and certainly ignorant of what other regions have experienced in disasters. As much as we have faced and are facing (the loss of wages and the breakdown of public transit are, indeed, serious), our general situation clearly doesn't rise to the level of suffering experienced after Katrina, Sandy, Joplin, or the Bay Area quake of '89, to give only a few examples. Those drew presidential/media visits and waves of volunteers and donations because houses were actually destroyed, businesses closed for good (with attendant permanent job loss), highways and bridges were removed from long-term use, there were more deaths and serious injuries, local resources were from the start massively inadequate to the magnitude of the damage, etc. I am very sorry to see both the Boston situation now and other disasters like these misrepresented by this ill-considered, solipsistic piece.
Craig (Providence)
The arrogance of some Bostonians never ceases to amaze me.
No, Ms. Graff, Anderson Cooper has flown in. No, the president hasn't done a flyover and no, there aren't tons of donations pouring in. Why? Because the biggest issue caused by our several feet of snow is simple inconvenience. Comparing our situation to that of a hurricane or earthquake is laughable. Hurriance Sandy hundreds homeless after destroying their homes. Hurricane Katrina left hundreds dead. The Oakland earthquake the same. There have not been hundreds of deaths in Boston. At most there have been a few fatal car accidents in all of New England combined as a result of the snow.
People have not had their homes wash away in mass and been left homeless. People are not stranded on rooftops awaiting rescue or buried alive under rubble. What do we have? People having to wait in long lines in the cold and snow for a bus or MBTA train. People having roof leaks. Garages collapsing under the weight of snow, and car crashes. That's it. What help do we need, really? Better management of the MBTA, for sure. Maybe some help from other states in moving the snow. We got that. Stop your whining and deal. Come spring it will be gone and the only thing you'll have to deal with is a roof repair. I'll take that any day over losing a loved one or my entire home.
Not mentioned is that Boston is one of the United States' most historic cities, with many buildings and monuments dating back to the country's founding. Many are surely in delicate shape after all this snow pounding. It would be a great loss to the world if any of these old relics were to suffer permanent weather-related damage.
Jacob Sommer (Medford, MA)
While not anywhere near the scope seen in the aftermath of major hurricanes, the winter storms have had some noticeable health costs too. Major hospitals have been impacted by patients stuck in their homes and staff unable to get to or from work. Extra car crashes due to weather have people driving very, very cautiously, sometimes so slowly that their slowness causes other accidents. In my city, somebody was accidentally killed by a snow plow in a supermarket parking lot.

Property damage is very high too. We've seen collapsing rooftops and buried cars. Last night I saw what looked like scaffolding at an old repurposed factory. It wasn't. A sizable exterior wall had simply collapsed, exposing offices and businesses.

Restaurants are scrambling. More have turned to Groupon and Living Social. One local upscale casual eatery offered gift cards for patrons who braved the ice and snow to dine in.

A warm May cannot come soon enough. I'd say April showers, but one of my memories is snow on an April afternoon.
LucyDog (Boston MA)
Your piece provides the perfect argument against securing 2024 Olympics in Boston. Evan Falchuk and the UIP please note!!!!
Focusing just on the transportation challenges of the past few weeks, I believe that the best embodiment of a so-called 21st Century City of innovation and prosperity is the presence of an expansive and well-managed public transportation system not braggomg rights to the fact that the Olympics once came to town. T has been hampered for decades under the weight of it's own bloated, overpaid management and white collar staff. over-the-top pensions for retirees, and a missing focus on staff discipline and timlieness combined with a severe underinvestment in infrastructure. Moreover, since real estate development in Eastern MA is geared solely to US and foreign multi millionaires, average workers need public transportaiton to get back to their homes in far flung cities, suburbs, and hamlets away from Boston Metro. One more thing, Governor Baker was recently quoted as saying he and his staff need to start standing on T platforms to better gage the pulse of public discontent. I think he and his team should go one step further and try commuting by foot, bus and T to the Statehouse for one full week in February starting today!!!!
Katie (Braintree)
This author collected all of my thoughts from the previous weeks and put them in an artful article. Perfectly put, all around. E.J. has either experienced this event from every angle, or at least took really good interviewing notes from those who had the pleasure of taking public transportation, shoveling, driving, walking, surviving. Unprecedented needs a new definition. At the onset, courtesy was the name of the game, but that characteristic quickly faded as we all started to get the feeling that we are more or less every man for himself. Moods changed, attitudes turned sour, neighbors were less neighborly, and at least in my house, we started to get on each others' nerves by week 4. Thankfully, that was temporary because we began to notice the leaks and uncontrollable ice damns and again came to terms with the fact that we need each other and it is with each other, that we will come out of this stronger, despite the inevitably flooded basement in our near future.
jrc (Madison,CT)
A certain member of my household (my husband) is convinced the weather gods are punishing New England for those deflated footballs during the recent Patriots/Colts NFL playoff game.
Jonathan Katz (St. Louis)
Be glad the President hasn't visited. That would just snarl things even worse.
Clark (Lake Michigan)
I've been in the suburbs west of Boston for 16 years, but am a native of the Midwest, a region ridiculed and dismissed out-of-hand by New Englanders. It's entertaining to see Boston unable to cope with the snow, and to discover how decrepit the T is. The natives think that EVERYTHING is superior here. What a laugh.
incredulous (Dallas, TX)
From my understanding, hell is unbearably hot. I would like to submit Dallas as the accurate definition of hell. Perhaps the headline should read "Boston's Antartic Winter".
Julie Dunn (Massachusetts)
Yep, he tells it like it is. The only things left out are the axle-busting potholes from all the plowing.
Dan (Cape Cod)
GEEZ - lighten up buddy! This is not devastation. I think this actually has been an amazing experience - a bit over the top - but a life experience that we will recount for years. Take a deep breath, put your head down and move forward. Spring it near. Be thankful you are alive on this beautiful planet.
LM Browning (Portland, OR)
Climate change is upon us, people.
hillbillynharlem (UptownDowntown)
Mr. Graff this is winter in New England, get used to it or get out.
Where's the help? As we learned during Hurricane Sandy - not coming, you're on your own. My whole neighborhood was destroyed, utterly, and yet FEMA gave money to no one: they found a zillion loopholes. Meanwhile, their "adjustors" took up all the luxury hotel rooms, while we froze in our attics. The Red Cross showed up 9 weeks later - with bottled water no one needed by then. The media went to a few photogenic disaster areas, and the rest of us were left to our own devices. The message from everyone: screw you. I wish better for Boston - used to live there, and loved it. But don't hold your breath if you're waiting for the government or any disaster agencies. They're utterly useless.
Debbie (Ohio)
My heart goes out to those in the New England States. Here in Ohio we have gotten snow and freezing cold temperatures but none like what others like you are going through. While cleaning off my car and driveway twice and complaining I immediately thought about how so much worse those of you up east have it and shut up.
Charlie (Argyle, Texas)
Very well written plea for assistance in a slow moving disaster, for many people this is overwhelming. Where is the Red Cross and National Guard.?
Anne Russell (Wilmington NC)
My Southern (NC) grandson Logan is a student at Andover outside Boston. He has been tunneling to class. This cruel winter has been a lesson in why his family chooses to live far below the Mason-Dixon line.
William Fly (Hull, MA)
The residents of a town south of Boston, Hull, MA have been dug out by New York Department of Transportation heavy machinery. For once, we are inspired to say, "Go Yankees!"
sapereaudeprime (Searsmont, Maine 04973)
Oh, cm'on. A historical study of New England winters tells us that this one is barely in the competition. We've just allowed our vertebrae to become jello. Go to the library and look at "Early American Winters 1604-1820," by David M. Ludlum.
bobi (Cambridge MA)
Collateral damage: the real estate market. Who wants tp Iive in this climate?
Mm (North America)
The author does a nice job highlighting that this snow impacts all of us but it has a disproportionate impact on the less advantaged. For so many Bostonians if their kids aren't in school they can't go to work. Or if the T isn't running they literally can't go anywhere. And, if they don't go to work they don't get paid.
I have the luxury of being a salaried employee who can work from home, I can afford a car to get to work, I have a driveway so I don't need to worry about where to park, etc. If my child's school is cancelled I can stay home with him without worrying about my paycheck the following week.
For many people like me this is a major nuisance. For many people living on a knife's edge this is a major disaster.
DMM (Corona del Mar, Ca.)
My daughter and her fiance live in Boston and as they reported to me yesterday; the only , ONLY thing that keeps them going is whispering to one another each morning before they rise, C A L I F O R N I A.
Beleaguered (Carlisle, PA)
Roads and sidewalks are impassable, the subway is down, Bostonians themselves can't get to work - but E.J. Graff asks, where are the President, Anderson Cooper, and volunteers from outside?

What are they supposed to do when they get there - start shoveling?
noname (nowhere)
Climate change, neglected infrastructure, underfunded educational system, destruction of labor unions. Why am I not surprised.
Rob (Massachusetts)
And Boston wants to host the Olympics? You must be joking. As a resident since 1998 and a daily rider of the cursed green line, I have watched fares go up and service go down every year. Even in good weather the T is overcrowded, slow and unreliable. Trains break down on a regular basis. MBTA workers in bright orange jackets stand around at Cleveland Circle in Brookline manually switching the tracks with a long metal pole. When it snows, tracks are dug out by hand and switches thawed by propane torches. Boston now has a world class economy and business base, but its public transit system is stuck in the early 20th Century.
thebigmancat (New York, NY)
As badly as I feel for the people of Boston, I am also irritated by the fact that the author failed to mention the words "climate change." The impacts are being felt worldwide - why would one expect the United States to escape them? How many mega-storms, droughts and record hot years will it take before our "leaders" take a break from counting their campaign contributions and start dealing with this imminent catastrophe? We are speeding towards a crisis that will make the entire ISIS situation seem like an afterschool special.
Greenpa (MN)
But let me guess. The 1% - are just fine. And looking forward to acquiring all those damaged properties for pennies on the dollar.

Am I being sarcastic? I'm not- this is God's Pure Truth. Think of the 1% as parasites on the public. It's exactly what they are. Why was the T under maintained? The money, I guarantee- is in 1%er pockets.
Amanda M. (Los Angeles)
Great piece - helped put it in perspective, especially financially. And helped me understand why my best friend, who lives in Boston, wasn't just whining when we spoke the other day about being housebound.
Adam W. (Mainland U.S.)
It's obvious to most people who watched the incredible, outlandish, and, let's say it - unholy, ending of the Super Bowl victory by the Patriots.

There was a deal with the Devil.

This winter was the completion of the contract. For those unaware of the existence of these contracts, please see the prophetic American classic "Damn Yankees".
Madeline Conant (Midwest)
Infrastructure, my friends. Boston, like the rest of America, will ask itself in the future why we didn't use this period of low interest rates and struggling employment as a time of rebuilding.
Rachel (Massachusetts)
Remember the warning that our children will suffer for this generation's inattention to climate change? My kids have had NINE days of school cancelled so far, and there are not enough weekdays left before their teachers' contract expires at the end of June. They are no longer able to help with snow shoveling, because the banks are two feet above their heads. They've read all the books in the house - twice - and it is extremely difficult to travel to local museums. There is only so much learning that can happen on the internet before they resort to mindless gaming. Parents are tired, but we have learned a lot from this experience. Let's use that knowledge to bring about real change in federal climate policy:
Brud (New Hampshire)
Epic meltdown, E.J. I agree with you on the effect on hourly employees, but other than that your piece is way overblown. Plenty of co-workers are getting to work just fine - and in the usual winter way, slow and steady. People are late, but people stay late. Speaking as a non-native who has been here quite a while, winter always brings out the best and toughest in New Englanders. People, on the whole, are making it just fine.
James Mc Carten (Oregon)
Maybe its prohibitively expensive or its already being done that Boston does not load their snow on barges and dump them out to sea, since they're on the coast. At least 'strategically' remove the mounds of snow that are obstructing major thoroughfares. I guess that there is way too much snow, that has happened in too short of time and Boston is buried too deep to be able to adequately deal with it--maybe next Winter?
Karen Lee (Providence, RI)
Sounds just like Providence! Bus routes cancelled or detoured. Major streets plowed to one and a half lanes. Minor streets inches deep in slush for the one very narrow lane. No parking anywhere. As for pedestrians? Hit or miss on sidewalks being cleared, walk in the tunnels that once were side walks, or walk in the street that has no breakdown lane, or weave in and out. Did I mention, it's cold. Roofs are leaking, windows breaking. Everyone is cranky. February 2015 has turned in to the longest short month in living memory.
N. H. (Boston)
I do not doubt that some people and businesses are experiencing real hardship, but so far I have seen packed restaurants and could not get a parking spot at a local mall.

I am definitely glad this year that we moved from Cambridge to a suburb just a half hour away and have a driveway. However, we went out in Cambridge just this Monday on Presidents day, which was a day after the big Sunday snow - lots of people shopping, eating out, etc... We had no trouble parking. Streets were not that bad. My commute to work is maybe 10 minutes longer than normal.

The T has been awful yes.
RoughAcres (New York)
Whats even more tragic than the impact of this storm on one area of the country... is the more permanent impact of a lack of snow on others.

Most of Boston's, and New England's, snow will end up being dumped - laced with salt and other road chemicals by the time the melting process finishes - into New England's water system (where it will be joined by the residues from fracking chemicals, oil "leaks" and agricultural toxins) to form the basis of our drinking water.

Now... because this storm happened in Boston, the city... and the state of Massachusetts (and the federal government, too, if it's declared a disaster area) will be expected to pick up the costs of snow removal (and of the damages caused by the massive flooding).

Rather than reverting to colonial-style solution such as 20-cents-per-hour prisoner labor, rather than dogma or dog whistles, why not initiate a system to allow WATER transportation from these East Coast überstorms to the drought-ridden prairie and western states. Here, for example, is how Montreal handles snow removal:

Imagine even half of those tankers of snow coming into the water-starved agricultural areas of California, for example.
carlson74 (Massachyussetts)
After the first 30 inches of snow the National Guard should have been brought in to start the clean up by waiting to do something first they only complicated the problems. It was the fault of the Law Makers and the Governor to act. I live in Newburyport and they haven't asked for National Guard help either and the mayor has failed n her duties also. God helps us with the rain forecast this Sunday to prevent a disaster that is the making but I don't think god listens to me. I have been on the City Councils websites asking every day where is the National Guard but don't get any answers.
John (Indianapolis)
No. Given Katrina's precedent, the POTUS is responsible.
Mona Salzillo (Larchmont, NY)
Another consequence of the storm not mentioned in the article: colleges are canceling an unprecedented number of class days. My son at Tufts has lost a week of classes. Professors are meeting to find a solution. Some are using technology to make up for lost classes. Beyond that, the school has already blown through its snow removal budget and last weekend experienced major flooding in one of its dorms, one that houses one of its primary dining halls, when a pipe burst. I imagine these storms are putting a strain on all Boston metro area colleges.
P.A. (Boston)
Yes. My wife teaches a Monday night class at Emerson and she didn't have her first class until last week, and now she's had to truncate all four of her first classes into a made up Friday night class, a Tuesday night (to accommodate President's Day), a Saturday night class, and then the regular Monday night class. She's crammed a month of school into eleven days.
Cyd McKenna (Cambridge, MA)
My niece, a student at UMASS Boston has a Monday class that hasn't even met yet. Imagine, midterms are about 2 weeks away and they have yet to meet for class!
Ben Lieberman (Massachusetts)
Every winter storm incoming from the west that reorganizes off the coast now has far more energy to draw on because of the warming ocean: that's just one result of global warming. The new norm is not the old norm, and the new norm will continue to get worse even if we make the rational adult decision to start keeping most carbon in the ground. If we stay with business as usual we will get even more extreme outcomes.
ttrumbo (Fayetteville, Ark.)
So sorry for the area. As an old US History teacher with affection for the colonial and Revolutionary eras, I hold Boston as the center of our fight and breaking away from Britain. Boston-Strong goes way back.
That said, situations like this help us define exactly who and what we are: are we a 'United' States of America? How much real commitment do we show to one another? What is a 'community'?
Whether you believe in climate change or not, extremes are happening and destroying much around us; including lives as this story shows. I worked a bit in Joplin and Moore, Oklahoma after devastating tornadoes. Lives are lost physically, spiritually, every way possible. Devastation on all levels.
We're told that our 'job-creators', 'entrepreneurs', 'best and brightest' deserve and need to make many times more than the rest of us; that hedge fund managers 'deserve' their hundreds of millions of dollars, or billion or two dollars for their expertise and 'effort'. We're sold that money is the great inspiration, motivation that must not be diminished. Hell, we cut the taxes on capital gains, top rates and grant busloads of ways of tax avoidance to the upper-income and wealth class. We've wrecked the boat on the rocks of greed.
We need to help Boston and all areas around that need our communal help. But, until we set up systems that elevate communal spirit higher than selfish, personal gain, I don't see it.
Who we are manifests itself in all times; maybe more so in times of need. Love US.
Charles (Boston)
``we need help, now,'' the writer pleads. But help with what exactly? Can anyone go back in time 10, 20 years and provide the capital investment the transit system needed to modernize? The transit system failure is the heart of the matter. Middle and upper income workers have been able, for the most part, to work around the challenges but, as the writer points out, the hardship is much greater for low-wage workers. Yet here there is no help anyone can provide for us. Anderson Cooper on the scene won't get people to work any faster. This is ``our'' fault. Our political class here has put off infrastructure improvements for a generation. A few months ago a bridge linking Boston to a much used shelter for the homeless, was declared unsafe and closed. There is a pattern here. The problem is not snow. It is lack of vision to invest in and prepare for the future.
risrael1a (Boston,Mass.)
Each day that passes in Boston I notice the remarkable things about the day, and I do no lament the snow, the ice, the frozen spectacle that E. J. Graff chronicles. I do not experience "misery," and feel fortunate to be able to live through each day, fully aware that there are struggles accompanied by our collective experiences. I have seen neighbors helping neighbors, and, as I write this, I see the blue sky above. Is it difficult here? Is it wearisome? Are we all tired of the snow. Yes, yes, and yes. But it is also part of what make our lives worth living, and lamenting what we have to endure seems like such a waste of precious time.
Laurabat (Brookline, MA)
A couple nights ago I was walking home from the T and feeling a bit cranky over the slow, packed trip (frankly, not much worse than the norm) but then I noticed how the snowbanks glowed blue in the twilight as huge snowflakes slowly swirled about me. I'm here to experience this hellish/beautiful winter and thankful that it has mostly posed inconvenience to me.

I do hope that this February's snow prompts some positive changes--improvements to public transportation, a more proactive approach to a future that may very well be filled with more winters like this, relief for hourly workers, more employers allowing work from home, etc.
MJ (New York City)
Have a little compassion for the hourly workers who are losing so much work time that they may end up facing evictions. It isn't all that wonderful for those people.
Nichole (Pittsburgh)
He's not lamenting the weather. He's lamenting the working poor and small business owner's financial devastation.
Mike789 (Jacksonville, FL)
Boston will respond, just like it always does, in unison. Bostonians will not soon forget this debacle. As a former New Englander I know enough of their resilience and constancy. This article should have been published earlier and the shortfalls expressed by countless residents of the region pointed to until the powers that be come out of their insulated corporate limited liability states of mind. We are messing with this mighty planet big time. It will adapt. That's a fact. Will we?
Bruce MacDougall (Newburyport Ma)
The inability of the T to function is both a short term and long term disaster. The short term has been commented on quite effectively in the article and comments. Longer term if Boston cannot deal with our serious transit problems can we sustain growth and development in the local economy. Time for state govt. , local and business to step up and address this serious long term impediment to growth and vibrancy in greater Boston.
acd (Arlington, MA)
I have lived in Massachusetts nearly all of my 56 years. I grew up in the Berkshires, lived in Northampton for 4 years, Arlington for 5 years and am now in central MA. New Englanders (Yankees) are a tough, stoic group of people. I find the criticism of the good people of Massachusetts and fine Bostonians completely unnecessary and snarky (Hip Hop).

Many parts of the country experience extremely cold temperatures and snowy winters routinely and we know that and respect them. I lived in the Colorado mountains for 6 years and I think we missed work once. I remember one winter we did not see the sun for nearly 60 days. I was a skier then and my years of sticking to a icy slope in New England made me a great skier in CO. We have more moisture and ice in this part of the country.

The differences about this winter have already been mentioned. But, different parts of the country handle snow in a different way. The tight quarters of Boston (and the surrounding towns!) on a good day are beyond cramped now. Even in central MA it is dangerous to pull out into the street.

We must remember to help one another, be compassionate and understanding during this very trying time.
Lise P. Cujar (Jackson County, Mich.)
I can empathize. It was -18 degrees at 7:30 this morning in my neck of the woods and we will continue to see unseasonable cold at least until March 1st.
me not frugal (California)
Hey, Michigan snow person! I was watching the TV weatherman last night going all bonkers over the forecasted low temps in Tennessee and Chicago, and there at the top of his map -- ignored -- was Marquette, Michigan, with a negative 20 next to it. So I thought maybe that was windchill, and looked up the current temperature. Minus ten. I have no idea how you live in that chill. You folks are hardy, eh? Cheers from sunny, draught-plagued California.
Chris Pratt (East Montpelier, VT)
Every crisis is an opportunity to do something positive. Here is a suggestion. Tax cars in the city, and upgrade the public transit system. This is the future of cities. It will allow people to cope better with climate change and help reduce the carbon emission.
P.A. (Boston)
We have a car tax called the excise tax and it's based on projected emission of the model and make of the car.

As for upgrading the transit system, we've had to do that for awhile but it is a hot issue as the rest of the state doesn't seem to want to help the city fund an upgrade, despite the fact the city produces most of the economy the state depends on. And our wonderful new governor just cut the budget for the MBTA by 44 million.

My fear is that this city with its cow path highways that don't make sense will become even more congested and full of angrier drivers.
me2 (California)
Welcome to natural disasters-- out here in California we have this wonderful dry, sunny weather that doesn't quit, that you would just die for! Sadly, it's not supposed to be this way here (nor there), and it simply means we're heading into a fourth year of devastating drought which will create more havoc for everything from agriculture to natural life. I'm again not going to plant my vegetable garden, we will close down the forests for fear of fires, all lakes and reservoirs will be long gone, maybe they'll start rationing programs like they should to preserve what's left of our meager resources. Sure, it's great to come bask in the sun in February (I was in shorts and tank top last weekend), but be assured it's a terrible portent of disaster. I'm sorry for your snow, but actually wish we had some of it here.
kmacjp (Boston)
Please, Californians, send over a truck convoy and take as much of this snow away as you can. Hopefully it will be melted by the time it gets there. Sincerely, Boston.
Allison C (SF Bay Area)
I wish we had all of that snow here. We need it all. But it was awesome fun skiing in t-shirts last weekend. ;)
bendy (Boston, MA)
Thanks to the NYT for pointing out the cost of the disaster, because our local media have barely covered this and our politicians haven't either.

Greater Boston's gross domestic product is about $1 billion per day. Over the last thirty days, how much of that has been lost? Hourly workers are suffering the most, of course. But nearly everyone in the region has had to miss at least four days of work this past month, and people commuting into Boston and Cambridge from the suburbs have lost many more. This isn't just about lost wages and personal inconvenience, as bad as that might be. Businesses are being seriously damaged right now. There's no doubt, this will end up being the biggest economic disaster in the history of the Commonwealth.

Incredibly, our new, allegedly pro-business governor has said nothing about this except to urge people to shop more. He should talk to some CFOs. The real economic engines of the state are suffering simply because their employees can't get to work. The fact that no state of emergency has been declared is incredible.

I used to think that Massachusetts enjoyed an unusually committed and engaged government. I was wrong -- we're just like everyplace else.
Cookin (New York, NY)
Those who say "It's New England, get over it," are apparently not living in Boston or its urban-ish suburbs and and/or seem to lack the capacity to imagine what it's like to live in a city that has in many ways simply come to a halt.

The storms in Boston raise serious risks to public safety. The T tracks are now being shoveled by people with hand shovels, including prison inmates paid at prison wages. Fire trucks can't find hydrants hidden under snowbanks. Ambulances and emergency vehicles find themselves stuck in traffic on roads narrowed by snow banks. Pot holes as big as wells have opened up on major roadways.

I'm as tough as anyone, but the hardship felt by everyone - from local businesses to those paid daily wages, and especially by those with limited resources - is enormous and has been minimized by our political leaders, especially the governor. Their lack of response does not build trust about how future disasters might be handled.
Craig (Providence)
I live here and I'm one to say 'get over it.' Hardship yes, but to compare complain that Anderson Cooper or President Obama haven't stopped in or that donations aren't pouring in as they did for hurricanes and earthquakes is sheer arrogance. Economically it will be a hard hit. But what are we really talking about here -- inconvenience. And god forbid if the most arrogant city in the world is ever inconvenienced. And I am a native Bostonian.
Dr. Phil (Boston Metro)
My hospital is open 24/7, and there are few patients (thank god) yet revenue is "down" (every February in fact) prompting financial crisis meetings. This is a slow motion natural disaster. With an equally chilling, no motion federal response that will likely never materialize. This morning a friend posted his lawyer's name as offering help with insurance company claims - that's the real battle moving forward! And it hasn't stopped snowing...
Bostonian (MA)
Whoever didn't realize that it snows in winter in New England should perhaps consider living somewhere else.

It snows, it gets cold. The T used to run overnight to keep tracks clear; there used to be parking bans on odd/even side of city streets during Snow Emergencies. Now the city issues fines for unshoveled sidewalks, even as its salt mix has turned snow piles into virtual concrete.

Sales taxes were increased by 25% by our last governor (Deval Patrick) to fix transportation problems. Will be looking forward to finding out where that increased collection went. I suggest the columnist here quit whining, pursue the answer and share his findings later.
P.A. (Boston)
I've lived here over a decade and it snows, just not like this, not all at once. Pretending like this is business as usual and 7 feet in 3 weeks should just be shoved aside no problem is nonsense.

Regardless of what the last governor may have done in your opinion, I'm interested in what our new governor plans on doing, other than throwing people under the bus and obsfucating unintelligibly.
TimothyI (Germantown, MD)
Let me guess: you're retired or work from home, you don't need to drive, and you have an income comfortable enough to absorb a few months of higher heating bills and to hire someone to shovel your walk. You are above it all. But you certainly are missing a big chunk of your brain--the part that acknowledges extraordinarily bad circumstances and produces empathy for the people hurt by them.

You're the kind of person who sees a devastated family sobbing next to their tornado-destroyed house and denies them aid--after all it's their fault for living in Oklahoma, right? Whatever misfortune befalls you in the future, I hope the response isn't planned by someone like you.
Mary (Somerville)
I cannot lift the snow high enough to put it on the tops of banks anymore. I have to sacrifice my car until spring. Which means I need the public transport system even more now, but that's so uneven. As much as a supporter of public transport as I am, it was hard to be on their side last night as I got on to an Orange Line train that as stuffed like those Japanese ones--where professional stuffers push everyone into the cars.

And then I waited a long and cold time for the bus to come. But I know it wasn't the driver's fault. The streets really are just narrow luge runs now. Sigh.

In Somerville we want to have the most "walkable" city we can. It's not walkable now. I don't understand why we don't put civic dollars to clearing sidewalks the way we do streets. It's completely unfair to pedestrians.

But this whole thing has amplified a bunch of problems. None of these issues are new, they just got magnified by the really epic nature of this.
Laurabat (Brookline, MA)
With so many people who can't simply work from home dependent on public transportation, I would have liked to have seen more emphasis on keeping public transport running. Maybe more travel bans with exceptions for buses, and more buses being run.

And yeah, the sidewalks . . .
Doc G (Eastport ME)
Boston is not the only place that deserves Federal Assistance in this unprecedented winter of 2015. The small coastal city of Eastport Maine has had 104 inches of snow fall since the first of the blizzards in late January. All 104 inches remain on the ground because temperatures have been well below freezing. Our town has 1,300 inhabitants, one snowplow and a dump truck. We applied to FEMA for assistance and were turned down. The reason that we were unsuccessful was the fact that none of the storms snow totals, by themselves, broke a town record. What a crock! This weekend we are facing an ice-storm even though temperatures are below freezing. With the mountainous snowbanks and snowdrifts plus iced power lines and iced tree branches, we could face weeks with no power, no heat and no way out of town. What has happened in Massachusetts and Maine are disasters and we who live here deserve federal assistance!
Acevedo (Boston)
Boston, the cradle of freedom and bastion of New England liberalism has a problem. This problem is inequality and corruption. It was well-hidden until the February storms blew the lid off. The privatization of health care, and soon education. The disrepair of public transportation and infrastructure. The rising rents and displacement of the poor from the city. Now, there is a push for an Olympics in the city. Will we see disastrous spending like in Sochi, Beijing, Athens and Rio? This problem needs to be fixed, not by the government but by the people. I have noticed a Bostonian culture that is quick to complain but not quick to act. Bostonians need to shake this off, and realize that Boston is no different now than in 1775. The corruption and inequality continues ever on.
Craig (Providence)
You forgot arrogance. For Ms. Graff to compare lament the fact that Anderson Cooper or Obama haven't come to visit or donations haven't poured in is laughable. No one's dying as in hurricanes and earthquakes. What we're really talking about here is inconvenience and yes, corruption on a level only seen in Mass, RI and New Jersey. Giving the Olympics to Boston will be the true disaster.
William H (Boston, MA)
Every detail in the article is accurate and true. Tempers are fraying, frustrations are rising, transportation is catastrophic and economies are chaotic. Those of us who complained (actually bragged) about surviving the Blizzard of 78 must now step aside to a new generation who will recount the survival of 15 for decades. But, Boston is strong. There have been no riots, no looting, no loss of vital services. The heat has stayed on, electricity losses have been brief and minimal. Vital services never shut down, staff slept over in hospitals, fire stations and road service depots. Civilization slowed down but never stopped. The duck boats paraded and the equipment van left Fenway on time to get to spring training. The weather broadcasters revelled in climate variety. The misery and the survival stories will be amplified in future hot stove stories. The snow will melt. Maybe the T will even be repaired. Play Ball!
Craig (Providence)
Boston strong? That's a good one. Funny, London, Paris and Madrid and even New York, didn't shut down when hit with terrorism. But Boston implemented martial law. I'd hardly consider that a strong move. More like folding like a house of cards.
Hugh Sansom (Brooklyn, NY)
When I lived in Boston and Cambridge, sidewalks on the Mass Ave Bridge were rarely if ever cleared of snow and ice. Why? Boston and Cambridge were too busy whining and bickering over whose responsibility it was.

The abysmal state of things in Boston is not just a product of bad weather. It is also a direct, predictable outcome of the idiocy of elected officials and a public that looks no further than the next sports season. In 1997, when I was still living there, the April Fool's Day Blizzard dumped over 2 feet of snow on the city. A snow plow cleared part of my block, but only part. For days I tried to convince the city that only part was clear. They simply asserted it was all plowed. My landlady knew someone in the Menino administration. The street was cleared. (Personal connections — the only way to really get things done in corrupt American politics.)

The value of taxation to prepare for blizzards or other events is not just a function of the sense of shortsighted officials and the people elect them. It is properly a function of the likelihood of the event and the event's _cost_ to people.

Snow like this year's in Boston is very unlikely. But as Bostonians are learning, Americans' idiotic opposition to any taxation has a cost that can outweigh that low probability.

This could be treated as unlikely risks have been in the past — distribute the cost, perhaps across the entire country. But Americans are now too shortsighted to grasp that.
Eric (New Jersey)
Darn this global warming.
TimothyI (Germantown, MD)
"Darn this global warming."
Eric, I sense some snark in your comment, as if record snowfall somehow disproves global warming. But it is precisely the kind of thing predicted by climate change: the northern Atlantic Ocean is at a record high temperature for this time of year, in some places 21 degrees higher than average. That provides tremendous energy and moisture to nor'easters, and they have dumped that moisture in the form of snow.
The simplistic view ("It's cold outside, so global warming is a crock") is a willfully ignorant, ideologically-driven response to deny the fact of global warming.

It's right up there with "My grandmother smoked from the time she was 16 and never got cancer". It says nothing about whether cigarettes increase cancer risk. Cold weather outside your window says nothing about climate change, and it's about time people stop that idiocy.
ACW (New Jersey)
For once, I agree with Eric, but only because he doesn't understand what he's said.
As is so often the case with deniers, he doesn't understand the difference between weather and climate, or between global and local temperatures.
'Global warming' refers to an overall increase of only a degree or two in the planetwide temperature, which is enough to produce localized weather extremes. For instance, the polar icecaps diminish in size. The melted water evaporates, becomes clouds, travels to other parts of the globe where it precipitates.
The reason the term 'climate change' has largely supplanted 'global warming' is specifically in an attempt, however futile it may seem, to get some people to understand the process.
Robert (WIlmette, IL)
When this kind of incompetent snow management happened in Chicago a few decades ago, the mayor was voted out and every mayor since has lived with the sword of Damocles hanging over his or her head when each snowstorm hits. This applies to the suburbs, too. The streets are plowed, the Interstates are cleared, we get to work and we made it through eight feet of snow last year without a headline appearing in other cities' newspapers. Hey, Boston, stop playing the victim and pick up the phone. The strategy for managing this kind of situation has been around for a long time. You are decades behind in learning the basics.
Ah, but it's Boston, and what could Boston possibly learn from the hinterlands? After all, the Cabots talk only to the Lodges and the Lodges talk only to God.
Jean Rittmueller (Memphis)
True, but the streets of Boston and environs have smaller dimensions, its transit system older (and much of it underground, unlike the EL), the houses are older and more frequently frame than those of the City of Big Shoulders.
Rich in Atlanta (Decatur, Georgia)
Some years ago I did a lot of reading on ice ages. It was surprising how little it takes to start the cycle, and it all has to do with snow on the ground and how long and where it lasts. It's not the winters, it's the summers. One summer where there is some combination of snow remaining longer than usual at most latitudes, and/or a slight southward extension of the latitudes at which the snow remains throughout the summer can be enough to start the cycle that leads to an ice age.

But if climate change can indeed lead to some whacky colder weather in the winter, one can't help but wonder if we could also get some weird stuff in the summer in an unexpected direction.

No, I don't really think it's going to happen, but... glaciers, anyone?
arc2arc (Santa Fe)
Or maybe weird stuff in the winter. Here is the southwest we are in the midst of a winter that just never happened. Instead of day temperatures in the 40s we are pushing 70. Snow comes occasionally but insufficient in quantity to meet the needs of the ecosystem in which we live. Unfortunately for us its not just this winter but a string of them. Just like how Boston can't find their sidewalks due to a string of weather events delivering unheard of snow in California wells are running dry due to a very unusual string of dry weather events. The truth is there is weird stuff happening all year long everywhere. The politicians can attempt to make hay by bashing this side or that but the impact is undeniable and it is costly. Hmm... maybe we should turn to science in an attempt to figure out what is causing all the changes.
InFact (Novato, CA)
Sorry, this is an absurd, untrue comment. Better continue to read.
Diana Moses (Arlington, Mass.)
I do think our responses to calamities experienced by others are affected by the dramatic arc of the calamity and by how gratifying, or not, it might be to help. What seem to be mundane, although difficult, problems don't produce the same response in bystanders as the exotic. Judging from experience on the micro level --that is, from experiences in my own life -- I am not so surprised people outside the area may be talking about our difficulties here without providing the assistance we could use. That said, I've seen a cavalcade of snow removal equipment with New York license plates and other such out-of-state indicators rumble by my house while I was shoveling. So I don't say there's been no assistance, but again, speaking from experience in my personal life, some assistance isn't necessarily enough assistance.

I think one of the lessons from what we're going through is to make better sure that systems have enough capacity to deal with adverse events. I don't just mean transportation systems, but the systems such as child care and reliance on driving and people being able to get the pharmacy multiple times because inventory is kept low and prescriptions cannot be completely filled the first time. We've produced systems that assume costs can be borne in certain ways, and when events occur that mean that those costs no longer can, the systems seize up. I see this routinely with reliance on the systems devised by computer software, too, when conditions are not met.
ScottW (Chapel Hill, NC)
When I lived in Green Bay we rarely missed school because of a snow day. Moved to Chapel Hill and school was often cancelled. When I asked someone why there wasn't better equipment for removing snow, he replied, "Because snow isn't a problem down here." Really? Then why are we cancelling so many school days?

Same goes for Somerville where I live. Lots of coverage of the problem, virtually zero conversation about the solutions. Why? Because no one wants to confront the fact we have neglected Mass Transit and are paying the price. .

The snow will melt, the T/buses will limp back into operation and the excuses will be boxed up until the next time they need to be used. Nothing will change.
Rich in Atlanta (Decatur, Georgia)
I grew up 100 miles north of Green Bay, in Iron Mountain, Michigan. Kindergarten through 12th grade school was closed once - 36 inches overnight. My kids went to school for the most part here in the Atlanta area and probably missed, on average, a day or two every winter. The only time I was ever 'snowed in' for more than day in that period was in Chicago in 1967 - the result of an attempt to fly to Florida for a brief winter vacation.

I think it's the economic trade-off. Snow removal equipment and crews are not cheap. I suspect that some places misjudge that trade-off, perhaps in both directions. It would be interesting to do a study.
NYHuguenot (Charlotte, NC)
I have lived in NC for 35 years. There are periods of years that go by when we have no snow at all. I've been to the pool and worked in shorts and a T shirt in February some years. I doubt you have been here long enough to see the pattern. The once in a while snow or ice storms are so infrequent that a day or two of school cancellations is a novelty to be enjoyed.
Barbara (Florida)
Remember the Jake Gyllenhal disaster film The Day After Tomorrow? New York and New England were covered with ice. Fiction, yes, but I think about that film when I watch the weather news this winter.

Maybe this is global warming after all.
Susan (NYC)
It's not global warming when cold temps are shattering records all over the country an century old one in Chicago just fell yesterday. Continuous single digits in Eastern MA isn't normal.

The past few summers that have been below avg. clearly aren't listening to globalist 'climate' propaganda, and if a commentator wants to counter that the equator is producing more evaporation--it isn't. The stuff falling through New England is simply what isn't falling into the Lake Mead watershed. And the temperatures are colder still.
Vincent from Westchester (White Plains)
No Barbara. Use your brain. Warming does not produce snow. It is global cooling.
rsaltus (framingham)
The movie was on TV just the other day. Lots of fun to watch bundled up on the couch.
Jon Harrison (Poultney, VT)
I lived in Cambridge and in the suburbs north of Boston for many years. The blizzard of '78 was preceded by a storm at the end of January that dumped about 18-20 inches of snow. We were fortunate that winter because there was basically no snow except in those two storms. In the winter of 1995-96 we had over 100 inches of snow; I still remember how difficult the 6-mile trip to work became.

We had very mild winters between 1970 and 1990, and I think to some extent we became spoiled. This winter may be the worst of all, but it's New England and the weather is notoriously variable. If we don't like it, we can always move.
Sarah Jansen (Boston)
18 to 20 inches is just a sneeze. We are dealing with over 100 inches within three weeks. I lived in snowy Montreal and we had this much snow most winters, BUT it never came down within such a short time period. In one of the most densely populated areas of the country. Not a small college town in Vermont.
Andy Locke (Somerville, MA)
Hi Jon,

Just a friendly reminded that not everyone "can always move." You and I might be able to, but for many working-class folks, that's just not an option -- moving takes time and money, especially if you have kids. So maybe we can't quite side-step this problem with the classic "that's New England for ya" frame of mind.

Crazy Me (NYC)
I'm not a meteorologist so I cannot fully explain it, but I know this has something to do with the Red Sox winning a couple of World Series.
Mary (Somerville)
Actually, I'm pretty sure it was my fault for mocking "Frozen".
Doug M (Chesapeake, VA)
Global ''weirding' strikes again and the Boston area is getting clubbed by it. Nature bats last.
Vincent from Westchester (White Plains)
What is happening in Boston is clearly global cooling.
Bill Millington (Chatham, New York)
Thank you for a beautifully written and emotionally gripping column on the snow disaster in Boston. But I kept waiting for the words "Climate Change", only to be disappointed. How can we continue to talk about extreme, record breaking weather patterns, like the unprecedented snow and cold in Boston, and it's devastating impact on our lives without mentioning the cause of such erratic and dramatic weather patterns. We ignore the elephant in the room at our peril; we can't help the weather, but we can certainly do something about climate change - or at least our government and business leaders can.
Manitoban (Winnipeg, MB)
But that's exactly the point. It's not unprecedented. Crazy weather has to happen at some point, just as it did 50, 100 and 300 years ago. Today we have a fun trendy name for it - climate change. Back then it was called just weather.
Cochecho (Dover, NH)
This too shall pass. The snow will melt and the daffodils will bloom. New England has always thrown curveballs for weather, teaching settlers to be independent and forbearing. Let us follow their example, dress warmly, and reach for a shovel.
thebigmancat (New York, NY)
No, this too shall not pass. Climate change is here.
Manitoban (Winnipeg, MB)
Yep....even 300 years ago climate change affected us all!
Mariposa841 (Mariposa, CA)
Man proposes but God disposes. And here in California we are looking at devastation in the exact opposite, our beautiful trees dying from lack of moisture, dust and fire and drying up wells.
Climate change a "hoax" ?? Tell that to the thirsty wildlife.
Susan (NYC)
California is a desert climate, and has historically been one. Have you ever seen the movie Chinatown?

The summers have been colder than avg. throughout the world for several years now, no matter how many times globalists want to propagate that every year is a new heat record.
Ken (western Massachusetts)
When more energy is dumped into the atmosphere, strange things happen. Warmer air suspends more water vapor, which comes crashing out when it hits colder air. More energy in the atmosphere sets up large and persistent high and low pressure regions which can act as a conveyor belt of arctic air to areas it used to only infrequently visit. Boston can have 4 "storms of the century" in 3 weeks. This is why the term "climate change" is better used. "Global warming", while true (2014 = warmest year recorded) leads to a simplistic conclusion that everywhere is going to be 1.5°F warmer than usual. Perhaps 3 "storms of the century" in 4 weeks is indicative of a change in the normal climate pattern we've seen over the centuries. Or maybe centuries have just gotten shorter. Of course we could dismiss "global warming" entirely, based upon the fact that it got cold somewhere...
Manitoban (Winnipeg, MB)
"When more energy is dumped into the atmosphere, strange things happen."

Indeed. The sad part is, that this statement indeed well represents of level of scientific rigor retained on the part of it's advocates. I hope the irony is not lost.
Susan (NYC)
There isn't any more evaporation at the equator, summers are cooler than normal for several years now, and the earth isn't hotter--never mind what globalists want to propagate.

The precipitation falling in New England is simply what isn't falling in the Lake Mead watershed.
Vincent from Westchester (White Plains)
But Ken, it has become colder every where
Claire Laporte (Boston)
What may be even worse than this - which I think will count already as the most expensive natural disaster in Massachusetts history - will be the coming thaw/ice period, when the entire state turns into an ice rink. And after that, the next step is major flooding - everywhere. Roads, rivers, subway lines, basements.

In addition to the weather itself, other major local villains include our brand new governor and our irresponsible legislature. The governor precipitated an unnecessary crisis in our transit system by ruthlessly criticizing the professionals who were attempting to keep it running. Worse yet is our legislature, which has systematically underfunded public transit for decades and left it running with obsolete equipment and inadequate support. They both bear great responsibility for the economic and personal chaos we are all experiencing.
Ron Alterman (New York, NY)
Irresponsible legislature yes, but the current governor who just inherited this mess? The real criticism goes to the previous governor who did nothing about the horrible infrastructure in this city, or the beloved Mayor Menino, who did nothing for 20 years. I moved to Boston from NYC 3 1/2 years ago and am shocked at how poorly this city is run, particularly given how high our taxes are. I'm a progressive but the greatest argument against Democratic politics is the way this state is managed. It is true that Charlie Baker unfairly maligned the woman currently heading MBTA, but her resignation now puts the problem on his shoulders. Fixing public transit should be the signature issue of his administration. Otherwise, Boston is a backwater.
Callie (Rockbridge County, VA)
Perhaps there needs to be an article on the great floods of 1936. The cities and towns need to prepare now for possible flooding along all major rivers and streams. Businesses and homeowners need to prepare for basement flooding and leaking roofs. Who will think ahead? Now is the time to be pro-active.
Lifelong New Englander (Boston)
2 excellent points! Well said!
Hip Hops (New York, NY)
Boston Strong?
Paul Shindler (New Hampshire)
My thoughts exactly - and I lived in Boston for 5 years, many years ago - loved it! My family has deep roots on Cape Cod. Berlin, NH, where I live, is in the shadow of Mt. Washington, and some of the worst weather on the planet. The sidewalk in front of my house is always plowed before 10 am after a storm, and last week, it was plowed at 9 pm the night of the storm! I call the lifestyle up here BERLIN BOLD. We get it done, no matter the weather - which is horrid in the winter.

At my condo in southern NH, my bedroom window was blocked with a foot snow so I opened it a little and used a hair dryer to quickly blast a hole through the snow by melting it. Then I could light up a nice evening joint to smoke(in my non smoking building), and blow out the smoke into the freezing cold air.
If I was the mayor of Boston, or the new Republican governor, I would mandate all citizens in Boston find a way to hook a flexible pipe on their exhaust pipe and start melting the snow on their street. The change would be dramatic and fast. And of course the usual manner of snow removal has to be expanded dramatically. Toss them politicians a stick of high test and get em' thinking again! Boston Strong - spark it up baby!!
Damian SMith (Boston)
Don't be a have no idea how hard it's been on people here not to mention elderly and handicapped people. Come live wouln't last a day.
John (Boston)
To be honest, yeah, it takes some kind of strength. Not to minimize the Marathon bombing, but this is affecting everyone directly, over an extended period of time. No escaping it. When you're spending 2 to 3 times the usual period commuting each day, spending hours in bitter cold on train platforms, losing full work days and having to make that up, dealing with leaks in your home from ice dams, spending hours upon hours clearing the driveway, walk, fire hydrant, mailbox, etc., worrying about whether transit can get you home in time to get your child at daycare, being late for absolutely everything, day after day after day, all the while holding your breath for the next storm. It's been a long slog, brother, and it's a long way from over. We're in for quite a mud/flood season here. Oh yes, and there have been 9 deaths attributed to the weather, so far.
Rebecca (Boston)
I have lived in Boston for 10+ years. I agree with the commenter who said snow removal has been a problem here for a long time. Every year, the city does a very poor job of snow removal, and this winter has exposed this problem. Why does this city--the largest in New England--not own enough snow melters (we have had to borrow them from other NE cities)? Why do the 6,000 plows the mayor keeps mentioning not have the capacity to come down the streets more than once (coming in the middle of the storm but never returning does not make for passable roads)? Why don't all the rich landlords in Beacon Hill clear the snow and ice from their roofs and sidewalks rather than force pedestrians to walk in the street, dodging cars so they don't risk breaking a limb?

The "T" is a disaster for many reasons (the Big Dig debt, the bloated pensions, the lack of governmental leadership), and it's been a political football. Hopefully one thing that will come out of this winter is that Eastern Mass. politicians will realize they have to actually fix this broken system.

I am very concerned for the people who rely on the T to get to their jobs and do not have the resources to secure alternate modes of transportation. But for the many Bostonians and suburbanites who have working cars, flexible work schedules, and warm homes who are complaining because we got a lot of snow: as someone who grew up in Central New York, all I can say is quit whining. We Yankees are supposed to be tougher than this.
angbob (Hollis, NH)
Re: "...Eastern Mass. politicians will realize they have to actually fix this broken system. "

Won't happen.
hawk (New England)
We keep images of snow piles on our desktops from our building. Comes in very handy when a west coast client complains about manufacturing delays, or when we tell them ground shipping has been suspended for that day.
D. DeMarco (Baltimore, MD)
"People are going to lose their houses."

I know it's a pipe dream, but you'd think those same banks that were saved from catastrophic disaster by the tax payers, could give New Englanders a 2 month pass on their mortgages or credit card bills...
S.Darcy (Boston)
I pray for those folks. They are the true victims.
PieChart Guy (Boston, MA)
Living here myself, I agree with this Op-Ed. The property damage from ice dams alone is crippling -- people have leaks in their homes, can't find roofers to fix the problem, can't get contractors to fix the interior damage, and have to stay home from work. It's a serious situation for many people.
Cassandra Baker (concord ma)
Cry, cry, cry. It's a little more than usual, but it's still just snow in February in New England. Calling for federal assistance is exemplary of our collective decline in our ability to fend for ourselves. Get a shovel.
ACW (New Jersey)
Aside from the fact that it's more than 'a little more than usual' and the article details issues, such as collapsing roofs and impassable streets, that well exceed mere inconvenience:

'Our ability to fend for ourselves' in those mythical golden olden days generally included writing off a lot of people who for one reason or another couldn't cope with the extremes. You expected a few old people, sick people, infants, young people, to freeze or drown or starve or die of the croup. Well before social Darwinism there was acceptance of this as just the way the world is - and, it has been remarked, with what admirable fortitude we bear the sufferings of others.
Sarah Jansen (Boston)
Concord, MA has has an average of 247 housing units/square mile.
Cambridge, MA has an average of 7350 housing units/square mile.

Meaning: Small towners and suburbanites have space. To push and shovel the snow to. And big garages to keep snow blowers.

We have broken a couple of shovels by now. Heaving shovels with snow and ice over 6' fences that are level at the top with snow already. There is no more space to shovel the snow and ice to. The street is so narrowed by snow banks that the snow removal services could not even turn into the driveway. Even if you paid the current rate of 700 $/hr for offsite removal.

Oh, and well off Concord is not known as the place from which hourly wage workers commute to Boston from.

The loss in income is now worrisome even for those not on hourly minimum wages. Some in an easier spot are generous in dispensing unasked for judgment though.
Bob S (MA)
I'm trying to figure out how getting a shovel and fending for ourselves is going to solve the infrastructure problems that have been neglected (The T, road clearance equipment, etc.) or let people who live in areas less prosperous than Concord are going to get to work if only to be able to keep their houses. Get real.
Christine_mcmorrow (Waltham, MA)
As a former resident of NJ, I can tell you, the storms have grown frequent and severe than "normal" every year since my move in 2006.

Residents are tired of being housebound, using the one or two "free days" between storms to dash to the grocery store. We're tired of the endless jokes on FB and the nonstop complaints. We're even tired of being a weary item on national news.

The T is a joke as prisoners and volunteers dig out the tracks of an above-ground transportation system that's from another century and in need of replacement, not repair. Highways are extremely dangerous as drivers dash out from on ramps behind walls of snow, nearly clipping drivers in the right hand lane. There have been accidents and pileups from sudden white-out snow squalls. In fact, since January 26, I can count on one hand the days that haven't had precip at all. Off highways, folks walk in the streets of cities like Waltham, where many sidewalks remain unshoveled. Driving has become like a luge course--with potholes and nowhere to dodge.

I heard Governor Baker had requested FEMA funds, but then heard no more. There is already a tons of infighting and blame-gaming between the governor and the mayor, both fairly new to government.

According to National Geographic, these storms are predictable and likely to grow worse:

But even this won't silence science deniers, to our great chagrin.
DCJ (Brookline, MA)
Meanwhile, our new GOP Governor tells the Commonwealth on Thursday that he will never consider increased taxes as a potential revenue source to repair the chronically underfunded MBTA public transit may have been in office only 6 weeks Governor Baker, but I expect more pragmatic decision making leadership from my MA elected officials, no matter what their party affiliation is.
Can We Talk (Atlanta)
You folks live in perhaps one of the highest taxed areas in the is it that the money is not already there?
Time to apply a shovel to your political class in addition to the snow?
Ann (Providence)
This article captures perfectly the current situation in Boston and the siege mentality we are struggling with as we try to live and work here. It took me 60 minutes to drive up Huntington Ave to try to go to a meeting - we had to cancel - bumper to bumper traffic inching along a stretch of road that normally would take 10 minutes at most to drive. Subway completely shut down. Buses crammed to bursting with people. Nobody moving. At one point I look to my left and there are four T workers shoveling out the tracks. Four? Now Gov. Baker who has been lambasting the MBTA has announced he's against any new taxes to pay to improve the system. We need leadership. We need elected officials who will step out of their warm offices and actually see how bad the conditions are.
Vincent from Westchester (White Plains)
Live somewhere else.
Callie (Rockbridge County, VA)
My question is this: did you have to be physically present in the room? Could this meeting have been held via one of the many computer programs that connect meetings? Not trying to give you a hard time but considering the conditions I wonder that an alternative was not put in place.
Anders N (Stockholm, Sweden)
Meanwhile in Sweden ... record high Jan and Feb temperatures, very little snow and no frost in the ground. Winter never came in many parts of the country, and now spring is on its way, although we are in February, the coldest month of the year.
memosyne (Maine)
This is truly a disaster. BEcause it happens over weeks instead of days, it is hard for the Federal agency to see it as a disaster. But heat-wave and drought-stricken areas can also be slow-motion disasters.
IF the Federal agency can't respond to this, perhaps someone could find a way to crowd-source help for the individuals and private businesses crushed by lower incomes and higher expenses and even job losses. I hope landlords will be willing to absorb some fraction of their tenants' pain. I think the government of Massachusetts needs to get their house in order. Politicians seem to chronically take the easy road: put off until tomorrow all expenses that aren't immediately beneficial to their constituency. We, as their constituency, should recognize that short term decisions are often disastrous. Wait, isn't our delay in recognizing global warming also a short-term advantage and and a long-term disaster? None of us have to wait for crops to grow any more. Our sense of time is warped.
James (Washington, DC)
Obviously, it's the curse of Global Warming. We need to believe the accepted scientific truisms!
Christine_mcmorrow (Waltham, MA)
Here's one [of the "accepted scientific truisms"] , James, to explain in language just about everybody can comprehend, a rebuttal to your clearly sarcastic taunt:
Jim Maroney (Stroudsburg, PA)
Global warming is indeed a likely contributor. It produces much more volatile weather with greater extremes - hotter hots, colder colds, wetter wets, and drier dries.
PieChart Guy (Boston, MA)
If you had cancer, would you trust a layman's treatment, or the "accepted scientific truisms" told to you by a medical doctor?
JBC (Indianapolis)
"Where are the federal disaster funds ..."

Doesn't the Governor usually request them from the federal government? Has yours?
poslug (cambridge, ma)
The recently elected Governor is a Republican who was the source of putting all the bid dig debt into the T budget thus blocking investment leading to the current shut down. He didn't count on it coming back to bite him. And the local news is not covering this fact. But you can bet the Faux is placing the blame elsewhere like on the last Dem gov who tired to increase taxes by a few cents to upgrade the infrastructure. Oh, and it is Obama's fault.
Rachel (Massachusetts)
Governor Baker did declare a state of emergency, which makes cities and towns eligible for federal disaster relief and out-of-state assistance. We have greatly appreciated all of the out-of-state crews and equipment that have been clearing our roads - PA, NY, NJ, VT, ME, and others. However, many have already returned because they have their own work at home, but we're still not finished digging out.
Ichigo Makoto (Linden)
What about the state disaster funds?
marty (andover, MA)
And about 22 miles north of downtown Boston, we've had over 100 inches since Jan. 24, that is 8 ft. and 4 inches for those is 1 degree above zero as I write with another storm of snow and ice on the way Sat. into Sun. with another bout of Arctic-type weather to follow...

On the bright side, March is only 9 days away, we put the clocks ahead an hour in two weeks, and...well I guess that's it, although we do have some of the most amazing icicles hanging from our roof/gutters. I lived through the blizzard of '78, and that seems like a rather mundane event compared to this. That blizzard was followed by many sunny, 35 degree days with little snow thereafter. On the other hand, this has been a month unlike any other.
Bethynyc (MA)
Dealing with the snow and crazy commutes is exhausting and stressful. I see it on the faces of my co-workers as they come in from another marathon commute. It is a juggling act--should I take the train and shuttle bus to Braintree, or the commuter rail to East Weymouth and have my brother pick me up there? What is running? What is delayed for so long that it might as well be cancelled?

It is very frustrating, and though most people are trying to keep calm and carry on, as the signs in Britain say, tempers are fraying.

Years from now, we'll reminisce about this, just like we remember The Blizzard of "78. But for now we really need some help to get all this snow out of the way.
QuakerJohn (Washington State)
Actually and sadly I think years from now we'll all reminisce how the weather used to be before climate change settled in and these sorts of winters became the new norm.
judgeroybean (ohio)
Boston is a microcosm of the nation. When disaster strikes, everyone looks for help and the help used to come from the Feds. Nationally, the Republicans bash government programs and want to turn things over to the "private" sector entities who line the pockets of the politicians. Infrastructure crumbles. But, nationally, the electorate votes Republican, to spite themselves. But the next disaster is coming to a town near you. For now, it is Boston in need of help. The MBTA is a disaster of Biblical proportions; the only remedy can come from the Federal government.
JW (New York City)
Perhaps some of the great minds assembled there could be persuaded to convene on a Snow Day to solve the eternal problem of snow removal in Boston/Cambridge? It's been this way - FOREVER. Perhaps it's one of life's bitter mysteries, perhaps it's solvable, who knows? More salt? Shove it into the Harbor? That's it?
Gail (Boston)
You haven't been up here, clearly, and know not of what you write. We have had snow days, quite a few days where the city just stopped. I would like to see JW try to shovel out a spot (even with a snow blower) on some of these tightly packed roads in Boston or Somerville. Heck, take a snow day, or two days. Let's see what progress you make. There is so much snow you can't maneuver.
LJ (Waltham, MA)
We could use some consultants from places like Buffalo and Minneapolis who, I think, have a far better handle on regularly getting large amounts of snow and managing it.
Also, some $ invested in the kind of equipment they use. But of course, the folks "in charge" here would rather dream of Olympic choice glory so I'm not going to hold my breath.
Sarah Jansen (Boston)
Salt is out in the supermarkets and hardware stores.
deRuiter (South Central Pa)
Don't worry, due to man made global warming our climate is the warmest it has been in decades, haven't you heard that temperatures are rising? Why just last year The New York Times featured an article on the end of snow in the Northeast, and mourned that there would be no ski resorts functioning any more because of the end of snow. Use the East Anglia climate model and you will see that you are mistaken, you can not be devastated by snow and cold in Boston because the earth is warming at an alarming rate, ask Al Gore and he will explain this to you.
sjs (Bridgeport, ct)
Actually, what is happening is exactly what was predicted. The weather is moving into the extremes - wet getting wetter, cold getting colder, hot getting hotter and dry getting hotter. We may be freezing and buried in snow but out West they are bone dry and the Pacific Northwest snowfall has failed. And yes, last year was the warmest on record world wide and this year looks to be topping it.
Global warming doesn't mean it's warmer in all parts of the globe all the time.
Bohemienne (USA)
At the risk of stating the obvious: weather and climate are two different things.
DV Henkel-Wallace (Palo Alto, CA)
What is this Massachusetts Avenue Bridge you write of? Surely you mean the Harvard Bridge, which admittedly is nowhere near Harvard but instead takes Mass Ave across to MIT.

I was OK with this in a New York newspaper, even one that surely must employ many graduates of Boston and Cambridge institutions. But when you wrote, "But for thse of us living here" I had to protest: surely you don't *actually* live in Boston?
Mark (Somerville MA)
People here refer to it as "The Mass Ave Bridge" No one calls it the Harvard Bridge. The writer lives in Cambridge which, regarding the snow problem, is the same thing as living in Boston. I live in Somerville but I am 2 miles from downtown Boston. When it comes to conditions like this in the Boston metro area, we are all one.
David (Cambridge, MA)
And of course there is the old story that when the Harvard Bridge was built and to be named after Harvard, even though it went to MIT, there was a question on whether that was appropriate. So some MIT engineers went out and inspected the bridge and came back and said, "That's OK. You can name it after Harvard."
Magnus (Boston)
The Mass Ave bridge(MIT) and Harvard bridge(Harvard), and Longfellow(MIT), and the BU bridge(BU) all manage to peacefully coexist, spanning the Charles at different crossings.

Perplexing, for certain.
Liz Dickson (Virginia)
Thank you for this article. My thoughts and prayers are with all of Boston and its surrounding areas.
Enri (Massachusetts)
Boston Globe on 6/25/2012

"... the millions that the MBTA is paying to banks because of ill-considered interest rate swaps shows why the agency never should have entered into these complex financial deals — and why it should seek better terms now.

The T entered into interest-rate swaps in the early 2000s, when interest rates seemed low and were expected to rise. In these deals, the T issued bonds to banks and agreed to pay them back at a fixed rate. In exchange, banks would pay the T at rates that varied with the market. The swaps turned into bad bets when interest rates dipped to historic lows as a result of the financial collapse. Now the T ... is paying down debt at rates far higher than what’s available on the market, costing the T almost $26 million each year, according to a study from a group called the ReFund Transit Coalition. The T can only refinance if it pays a huge exit fee — a step that other public transit agencies have taken.

As lawmakers scrape around for money to close current deficits and prevent future ones at the MBTA, the transit agency and lawmakers should try to find ways out of the swaps. While the banks will likely argue that these are contracts that can’t be broken, the T should still try to renegotiate. Public agencies in California, including a San Francisco museum and the city of Richmond, have successfully renegotiated swaps by stressing their fiscal struggles, while Oakland is currently in swap refinancing talks with Goldman Sachs."
Enri (Massachusetts)
This is not a comple natural disaster. Our society is also responsible for it. The usual actors are involved in the crime: corrupt politicians, Wall Street, even the goody two shoes governor, who has played an important role in the privatization of health care in the state and is now focused on destroying what is left of public education, and the collusion of the MSM, which are now pushing the money making adventure of the Olympics 2024 down the public throat. The current head of the MBTA is a convenient and easy scapegoat.
Aaron Taylor (Global USA)
But not the public? You know, the public that relishes low transportation tax rates, refuses to fund the system? Of course not...and someone writes an article crying that "we need help", and "where are the volunteers" (maybe they cannot get to your city because your transport system is think?). But spring will come, snow will melt...and the bus/rail system will still founder through lack of funding.
gemli (Boston)
We're living in a time of monster hurricanes, super-typhoons, F-5 tornadoes, unprecedented snowfalls and extreme droughts. I sometimes think about these things when I'm walking to work in a city that has stopped plowing major walkways. I'm in the street, hugging the icy edge of enormous levees of snow as cars go by, inches from my elbow. Perhaps there's a connection that underlies all these once-per-century weather events. It would have to be something that has caused more moisture to be suspended in the air that must ultimately rain and snow and twirl down upon us. Normal, scientifically-literate humans sometimes refer to man-made climate change, but Republicans are having trouble seeing a link.

The Republican governor of Massachusetts is handling the situation by whining. He's furious with the MBTA's recently-installed leadership because the tracks are buried in snow and the 30-year-old trains break down. Heads are rolling, if not the trains, and one of those heads belongs to the MBTA's Beverley Scott. Her position is a ceremonial one that is designed to shield political leaders from blame. Demanding her resignation is a lot easier than funding and fixing the "T". So she was thrown under the bus, but since the buses aren't running she's safe for a while.

Is it global warming? As I walk to work I think that Boston's plague of snow is more biblical in nature. My theory is that there's an angry Old-Testament God up there who had money on the Seahawks.
vacciniumovatum (Seattle)
Even though you folks won the Superbowl, we didn't wish this on you...

My neighborhood's forecast for the next couple of days (daytime high/nighttime low): F-54/40; Sa-54/36, Su-54/33, Mo-54/34, Tu-54/38, W-53/40.

I have friends and family in Shirley and Taunton so I hear their pain. Here's to gentle temperature warming and a safe melt for Middlesex, Suffolk, and Plymouth counties.
Aaron Taylor (Global USA)
And yet, when interviewed while standing in the snow, at least one resident replied, "Hell, no!" when asked if he would accept a higher tax rate for transportation. Is he, in such short-sightedness, emblematic of the city/community population as a whole? Sometimes it seems so - bus and rail service so outdated and so broke, obviously underfunded, yet people can be stranded and still say they won't support the service they rely on so much. Amazing.
C. Adams (Massachusetts)
"The Republican governor of Massachusetts is handing the situation by whining."

You nailed it, Gemil.
See also