The weekend blizzard is gone, and the clean-up has begun. Unlike much of the northeast, North Andover is lucky.
"The town is in relatively good shape, all things considered," North Andover Emergency Management Director Jeff Coco said Saturday night.
There were a couple of reasons for this.
1. We Kept Power
There were hundreds of thousands of people in Massachusetts without power Saturday, but none of them were in North Andover.
"We had one line go down yesterday [Friday] evening, and the Grid got out there, in the storm, believe it or not, and had it restored by 9 p.m.," Coco said. Other than that, the town was powered throughout the storm. In fact, the local National Grid liaison went to the South Shore where there were massive outages, since he wasn't needed here.
2. Traffic incidents were minimal.
Coco said there were two incidents during the storm -- a health care worker stuck in a snow bank on Trinity Court and a tow truck stuck on Massachusetts Avenue.
Gov. Deval Patrick issued an executive order Friday banning all traffic after 4 p.m., and lifted that ban Saturday at 4 p.m.
Coco said the governor's office and Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency called him Friday asking what he thought about a traffic ban. Coco, who agreed with having a ban for safety reasons, told them he was around for the Blizzard of '78, and after vehicles became stuck on highways there was a traffic ban in place. At that time, even in exempt situations, in order to drive a person had to call the police departments in each town they were to drive in and ask permission.
One man, Coco recalled to the governor's office, was coming from Gloucester through North Andover because his daughter was having a baby. You may remember Gov. Patrick mentioning that in his press conference.
There is still some work to do, for the town and for residents.
Clearing Roads: Plows are still out there clearing the roads, as strong winds are pushing snow drifts onto the streets. Sidewalks are still not cleared, and Coco said that will be a secondary issue. If you go out for a walk, be careful if you walk in the roads, many of which are narrow because of the snow banks.
Clear Your Vents: One thing often overlooked in these big snowstorms is carbon monoxide. Many houses have vents on the side of the house for their heating systems, and big snow drifts can block those vents. Make sure your vents are clear of snow. And check your carbon monoxide detectors.
Clear Your Roof: North Andover is expected to get a rain/snow mix on Monday. The light, fluffy snow we saw in this blizzard acts like a sponge for rain, and that could cause roofs to collapse. Coco strongly recommends having your roof cleared before Monday, even if you have to have a professional do it. Here are some tips on roof snow removal.
Are you a professional who does snow removal and roof clearing in North Andover? Leave a comment and let people know.
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