Path clearing; Residents begin to get around.


Byline: Scott J. Croteau

Residents and municipalities Sunday continued to dig their way out of the mess left behind by the weekend blizzard.

Roads became narrow and many sidewalks were impassable as the plowed snow simply piled up. Pedestrians braved slippery, slushy travel in the road, and snowbanks piled high, making nosing out into intersections tough for many drivers. Mountainous snow piles took up residence in shopping plaza lots.

Facebook posts from the Worcester Department of Public Works and Parks attracted their own wintry mix of praise for a herculean effort and complaints about plowing and pleas for service.

As Central Massachusetts cleans up, people should expect the snow to melt slowly over the next few days. Combined with anticipated rain today, the weather could make driving and walking slick, with pooling of water in some areas.

Schoolchildren in several area communities won't have to risk it, however. In Worcester, Superintendent Melinda J. Boone late Sunday afternoon made the call to cancel school today. Anticipated bad weather, combined with the condition of many roads and sidewalks, prompted the decision, according to a statement. According to city officials, all school parking lots and entryways have been cleared of snow, and school is expected to resume Tuesday.

School also has been called off today in Auburn, Blackstone-Millville, Douglas, Grafton, Leicester, Mendon-Upton, Milford, Northbridge, Uxbridge, Webster and Thompson, as well as Abby Kelley Foster Charter School, Alhuda Academy, Seven Hills Charter School, the Bancroft School, Notre Dame Academy and Worcester Academy, all in Worcester, and Whitinsville Christian School in Northbridge. There will be a two-hour delay in the Dudley-Charlton Regional and Quabbin Regional school districts. Blackstone Valley Regional Vocational Technical School is closed.

Total snowfall amounts released Sunday morning by the National Weather Service said Worcester was hit with 28.7 inches, the third largest in the city on record. Spencer appeared to have received the most snow, with reports of 31 inches. Fitchburg came in with 30.2 inches, according to a trained spotter for the National Weather Service.

Official totals could take a couple of days to confirm.

Temperatures rose into the 30s Sunday, but sleet and a little bit of snow appear to be coming today, said Bill Simpson, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Taunton.

"The rain is going to act like a lubricant," he...

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