So it begins: Boston received a 3,000-ton pile of road salt in preparation for another vicious winter.
Despite the stubborn heat waves of recent weeks, the City of Boston is preparing for another winter of potential discontent.
It seems like it was only two months ago that the last bastion of the 2015 blizzards melted off of the face of the empty lot on Tide Street in the Seaport. Namely because it lingered until July 14 and solidified its place in the Hub’s collective memory, giving young people the green light to tell the old timers that the Blizzard of ‘78 was a dusting that didn’t even shut the T down.
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In January, the Department of Public Works and other city officials were wondering what they would do with the untouched money in the annual snow budget. But February clobbered the Commonwealth.
Truckload by seemingly impossible truckload, DPW workers worked around the clock, piling up snow farms all throughout the city that made their front end loaders, dump trucks and other heavy machinery look like children’s toys. As the months dragged on, the 100-foot-tall, empty lot-wide piles turned into frozen mountains of filth, garbage and grime. When it was all said and done, Boston had endured a record-breaking 110.6 inches of snow.
Few institutions suffered more than the MBTA, who shut down for weeks on end. At present, there are closures and shuttle busses transporting passengers between stations as construction crews beef up the rail lines for another dreaded snowpocalypse.
If the Old Farmer’s Almanac is an accurate indicator of the impending winter, brace yourselves. The old formula predicts more of the last go-around. Given that the summer had several record-breaking scorchers to partner with the record-breaking snowfall, the prospect of another winter paralyzed by blizzards and a thermometers plunging to frigid depths might convince folks to pack up and head to Florida. But this year’s Almanac is no friend to the Midwest or the South either, predicting that they will not be spared by frigid temperatures as well.
The city will pile on 9,000 tons of more salt next week. There are about six other sites in Boston already equipped with road salt. Perhaps these are harbingers, perhaps they won’t be needed at all. Only time will tell, but it appears that the sand in the hourglass for warm weather is dwindling by the day.